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To: Aquinasfan
First, assuming that evolution is true and that creatures are in a continual, never-ending process of transformation (note: change in form), how would we be able to say with certainty that we are of the same species as Jesus, that His human nature was the same as ours?

Because from the records we have of human beings 2000 years ago, we know that the human form has changed very little since then.

It's my understanding that in circumscribing permissible belief regarding human origins, evolutionary theory may be permitted, but we must assert that evolutionary processes stopped with Adam and Eve, for the reason given above.

I don't think so. At any rate, human evolution is a very slow process, especially with the advent of technology, which has greatly reduced selective pressure on our species.

Secondly, it seems to me to be plainly absurd to speak of the continual transformation (change in form) of species when the notion of the transformation of species assumes the existence of stable forms (species) that are universally apprehensible,

It assumes no such thing. Species are merely an artifical human construct that makes classification easier, nothing more.

For example, if we assert that pigeons arose from Archaeopteryx, how can I know that what I understand as "pigeon" and "archaeopteryx" is what you understand to be "pigeon" and "archaeopteryx," or what was understood as "pigeon" and "archaeopteryx" 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, or 100,000 years ago, if all things exist in continuous transformation?

First of all, the rate of transformation is not constant. Sometimes it may even stop for periods.

Second, the differences between pigeon and archaeopteryx are so different as to make the distinction unporobelmatic. However, you are correct, that when two animals are very simlar, where you drawn the line between speices can be somewhat arbitrary.

17 posted on 12/08/2005 6:27:12 AM PST by curiosity
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To: curiosity
Because from the records we have of human beings 2000 years ago, we know that the human form has changed very little since then.

I'm using "form" in the Aristotelian sense, as "substance" or "essence," not shape.

I don't think so. At any rate, human evolution is a very slow process, especially with the advent of technology, which has greatly reduced selective pressure on our species.

So how can I know with certainty that I am of the same species as Jesus? As Moses? As someone who lived 3000 years ago? 4000 years ago? 10,000 years ago? Etc.

Secondly, it seems to me to be plainly absurd to speak of the continual transformation (change in form) of species when the notion of the transformation of species assumes the existence of stable forms (species) that are universally apprehensible,

It assumes no such thing. Species are merely an artifical human construct that makes classification easier, nothing more.

The problem of universals is of paramount importance in philosophy, and is not so easily dismissed. The position you describe is the Nominalist position, which is incoherent.

We find an unequivocal affirmation of Nominalism in Positivism. For Hume, Stuart Mill, Spencer, and Taine there is strictly speaking no universal concept. The notion, to which we lend universality, is only a collection of individual perceptions, a collective sensation, "un nom compris" (Taine), "a term in habitual association with many other particular ideas" (Hume), "un savoir potentiel emmagasiné" (Ribot). The problem of the correspondence of the concept to reality is thus at once solved, or rather it is suppressed and replaced by the psycological question: What is the origin of the illusion that induces us to attribute a distinct nature to the general concept, though the latter is only an elaborated sensation? Kant distinctly affirms the existence within us of abstract and general notions and the distinction between them and sensations, but these doctrines are joined with a characteristic Phonmenalism which constitutes the most original form of modern Conceptualism. Universal and necessary representations have no contact with external things, sinct they are produced exclusively by the structual functions (a priori forms) of our mind. Time and space, in which we frame all sensible impressions,cannot be obtained from expierence, which is individual and contigent; they are schemata which arise from our mental organization. Consequently, we have no warrant for establishing a real correspondence between the world of reality. Science, which is only an elaboration of the data of sense in accordance with other structural determinations of the mind (the categories), becomes a subjective poem, which has value only for us and not for a world outside us
First of all, the rate of transformation is not constant. Sometimes it may even stop for periods.

The philosophical problem remains.

Second, the differences between pigeon and archaeopteryx are so different as to make the distinction unproblematic.

Of course. That's not the problem. The problem is, if species undergo constant transformation, how can we know this with certainty? How can this certain knowledge be reconciled with the subjectivism or anti-realism of Nominalism, which is ultimately solipsistic?

However, you are correct, that when two animals are very simlar, where you drawn the line between speices can be somewhat arbitrary.

But in fact, there are no actual species to draw a line between, only names that people attach to creatures that look alike, or what have you. Evolutionists here want to have their cake and eat it too.

19 posted on 12/08/2005 7:26:38 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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