RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

    
  Topic: Theology and Evolutionary Biology, Is there some link?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 17 2004,08:09   

This thread is for discussion of the claim that evolutionary biology is dependent on theological argumentation.

This started off in http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000488.html , a thread about Dembski's new job.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 17 2004,08:11   

I haven't seen C. G. Hunter or any other ID advocate explain how the following depend upon theological argumentation:



  • Inheritance is particulate, not blending.
  • Inheritance is not perfect. Changes can and do happen in heritable information.
  • More organisms are produced than can be sustained under prevailing ecological conditions.
  • Those heritable variations which correlate with differential survival of organisms tend to have higher proportional representation in the population.
  • The distribution of traits in a population can be influenced by chance effects, such as population bottlenecks and sampling from a limited pool of variant.
  • Fossils are the traces of organisms that were once alive.
  • Fossil forms show that extinction of species happens. Certain fossils represent organisms common enough, large enough, and distributed in areas where if they were present through the present day could not have been overlooked.
  • Fossils are distributed in a stratigraphic pattern indicating change in fossil assemblages over time.
  • Fossil assemblages show that mass extinctions have happened at widely different times in the earth's history.
  • The canonical genetic code is consistent with the theory of common descent.
  • Patterns of differences in sequences of proteins and heritable information support the idea that these differences have accrued since the time of a last common ancestor.
  • Evolutionary interrelationships have been used to advantage in medical research.
  • The principles of natural selection have been used to advantage in computational optimization and search.
  • Species have been observed to form, both in the laboratory and in the wild.
  • A novel symbiotic association has been observed in the laboratory.


(Originally listed as examples meeting the "Patterson challenge", but it seemed that they fit this bit, too. http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199911/0050.html )

The claim that evolutionary biology is necessarily advanced via theological argumentation is simply codswallop. The only way that Hunter's argument could possibly work is if he were able to support a universal claim that every evolutionary concept, hypothesis, and theory were premised upon a theological argument. This he does not and cannot do. Instead, we are treated to instances where evolutionary biologists take up the issue of some form of creationism. It is creationism that interjects theology into the discussion. (It has been argued by Nelson that most such arguments are misguided since "theological themata" that are themselves not necessarily universal are often deployed. See my response to Nelson at http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199904/0166.html ) To say that "some arguments made by evolutionary biologists have a theological component" doesn't mean that the field of evolutionary biology as a science is based upon theology; it merely means that some evolutionary biologists have taken the trouble to engage theistic antievolutionists on their own ground. The examples of argumentation given above in the comments refer not to technical work in the scientific literature, but rather to popular treatments that have a scope including the socio-political dimension that creationism inhabits. What seems to be particularly upsetting to the theistic antievolutionists is not that theology is involved, but how effective and compelling the theological argumentation deployed by those evolutionary biologists in their non-technical work is.

Evolutionary biology, as a science, does not have "theological underpinnings" as claimed by FL. There is no component that I know of that cannot be stated in a form that has no dependence upon theological doctrine. Nor do I expect FL, C.G. Hunter, or any other ID advocate to be able to provide an example of any extant component of evolutionary biology that is obligately dependent upon theology.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
PaulK



Posts: 37
Joined: June 2004

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 17 2004,08:36   

While I have not read Hunter's book, people using Hunter's arguments focus not on positive arguments for evolution but on arguments against Creationism (e.g. the argument from poor design).

It seems obvious to me that arguments against a theological position such as Creationism will involve a theological element.

We face, again, the fact that examining a design hypothesis involves considering the objectives and capabilities of the proposed designer.  Naturally when the proposed designer is God these are theological issues.

  
evopeach



Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2005,07:40   

Dear Wirehead,

Inheritance is particulate, not blending.

A nonsense statement, void of meaning without a clear definition of terms. Inheritance is by definition the passing of expressed genes through substantial proportions of a populationwhich differ in one or more locations from prior generations. The mixing and shuffling of same in reproduction though surely one at a time results in blending, dominance and dormancy.

Inheritance is not perfect. Changes can and do happen in heritable information.

Yes it is always observed to be less and not more in respect to the bits of information and not to increased complexity and order. ((.9% of the time it leased to dysfunction and death by all measures unless the cause is built in adaptive ability.. an ever growing discovery.

More organisms are produced than can be sustained under prevailing ecological conditions.

So every species has individually and collectively has always decreased in population size including the insect world.   Moronic on the face.

Those heritable variations which correlate with differential survival of organisms tend to have higher proportional representation in the population.

Quiote possibly the dumbest statement yet written.

Differential survival is known by seeing and counting the percentage of those who have survived. The traits that thay have will necessarily be those that assist survival. Those who go extinct wont be counted and won't be around to be examined as to any traits. The distribution of traits in a population can be influenced by chance effects, such as population bottlenecks and sampling from a limited pool of variant.

Fossils are the traces of organisms that were once alive.

Fossil forms show that extinction of species happens.

Amazing a Nobel prize winning idea. LOL

Certain fossils represent organisms common enough, large enough, and distributed in areas where if they were present through the present day could not have been overlooked.

Name a few and so what... if they are so ubiquitious why are there not a jillion transitional forms with the same characteristics instead of perhaps fifty of doubtful efficacy.

Fossils are distributed in a stratigraphic pattern indicating change in fossil assemblages over time.

Except the large number of exceptions which are very well documented.

Fossil assemblages show that mass extinctions have happened at widely different times in the earth's history.

Nearly all are well correlated with rapid burial, alluvial and indicative of hydrologic dposition..period.

The canonical genetic code is consistent with the theory of common descent.  

Short skirts always precede a Republican President shown over the last 75 years.

Patterns of differences in sequences of proteins and heritable information support the idea that these differences have accrued since the time of a last common ancestor.

Except that the possibiity of perfectly synchonized molecular clocks between widely divergent species would have to be maintained over eons.. Rediculous.

Evolutionary interrelationships have been used to advantage in medical research.

Common design amd functionality have been used to advantage in molecular research.

The principles of natural selection have been used to advantage in computational optimization and search.

Meaningless since brainpower and knowhow and design made it happen not chance.

Species have been observed to form, both in the laboratory and in the wild.

A novel symbiotic association has been observed in the laboratory.

And in most bedrooms... so what.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,04:49   

*bump*

Given the very vocal pushing of the claim that Darwin and evolutionary science had and has nothing but theological argument by C.G. Hunter in this radio debate, it seems like a good time to note these items that, despite the troll's braying, have not been linked to any such thing.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,10:27   

Thanks for the bump!

It was fun re-reading the link to the Panda's thread from the time of Dembski's ascention to seminary status.

Special Bonus:  Dr. Dr. Bill hisself responds on the thread.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,12:46   

I am not sure if this is relevant to this thread. If not, please delete this post.

I have often heard evangelical religionists claim that accepting evolution as good science leads to a loss of faith.

I think there is some truth to that argument. The reason I believe that is not quite for the reason that evangelicals propose.

Rather, certain religious leaders disparage evolution so strongly that when you actually follow evidence it is aparent that said particular evangelicist lied. I think that the religious motivated lies cause more people to break away than the science itself.

That is my 2 cents. Hope it is relevant. If not, toss the comment.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,14:03   

Quote
Rather, certain religious leaders disparage evolution so strongly that when you actually follow evidence it is aparent that said particular evangelicist lied. I think that the religious motivated lies cause more people to break away than the science itself.


That same thought has occurred to me, too.

Henry

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,17:38   

Quote (Henry J @ June 20 2007,14:03)
Quote
Rather, certain religious leaders disparage evolution so strongly that when you actually follow evidence it is aparent that said particular evangelicist lied. I think that the religious motivated lies cause more people to break away than the science itself.


That same thought has occurred to me, too.

Henry

Indeed.  I think most of those people give up their religion because the fundies have TOLD them they must --- after all, it's the FUNDIES who claim that if evolution is true, then Christianity is worthless.

The fundies shouldn't bitch and moan when people take that claim seriously.  (shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Doc Bill



Posts: 1039
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,19:27   

I think it's as simple as learning to think for yourself.  Science notwithstanding.

As people become more educated (Mike Egnor excluded) the size of the gap holding God approaches zero.

It was most telling that in a video interview Ken Ham, arch creationist, was explaining dinosaurs.  He said he couldn't ignore them.  Here were the bones.  He couldn't wish them away, he couldn't ignore the evidence.  So, he solved his problem by putting them in the Garden of Eden!

Eventually people are going to say things like, "You know, Vern, bible dinosaurs is really stupid, ain't it?"

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,21:30   

Quote (Doc Bill @ June 20 2007,19:27)
I think it's as simple as learning to think for yourself.  

Alas, for most people, that is not only the hardest thing in the world for them, but the one thing above all others that they make every effort possible to avoid completely.

And indeed, for fundies, "thinking for yourself" is absolutely the most terrifying thing of all.  After all, suppose you're (gasp) WRONG about something???

Blind certainty is so much easier.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
  10 replies since Sep. 17 2004,08:09 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]