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To: betty boop
And my lawnmower doesn't cook breakfast, so its incomplete?

Coyoteman, we don't ask our lawnmowers to provide an account of the evolution of life (er, species is the standard reductionist term).

Specific things for specific purposes. The theory of evolution (not "Darwinism") deals with change in the genome.

If something "evolves," it must be evolving from something, and probably towards something. My conjecture is, that "something" contains (at its origin) the specification of evolutionary potentialities and the context of their development (materials and laws).

Wrong. There is no "toward." There is more likely to be an "away from" than a "toward." For any given condition, some individuals in a population are better adapted, some more poorly adapted. Those in a population who are better adapted will, in the long run, tend to have more offspring, while those who are more poorly adapted have relatively fewer offspring. The end result is the genome which is, overall, better adapted to the multiplicity of conditions in their environment will be passed on more successfully.

Just the word "evolve" implies a rational, not a haphazard process. For something to be "rational," it must have a "limit" somewhere. It can't be pure chaos and be "rational": Our universe appears to be lawfully ordered. But a chaos cannot order itself.

You just stepped off the deep end. While the natural world operates within given parameters, it is reactionary, not "rational" There is no planning which adaptations will work better; those which don't work as well are weeded out. As for "a chaos cannot order itself" you're back to that metaphysical philosophical mumbo-jumbo. That phrase simply has no meaning beyond opinion.

Many Darwinists I know seem to think a doctrine can be understood as "equivalent" to natural processes. If you have the right doctrine, you can just squeeze all of nature into it, and it will make perfect sense.

Back to "Darwinists" again. Otherwise this paragraph makes no sense to me.

Metaphysics, which as James suggests is about "thinking clearly," enables us to see that we are dealing, however, with two completely different categories in such a situation: articulations in language and articulations in the natural world -- they are not equivalent; no "A = A" obtains here.

If "thinking clearly" is what I often see in your posts, I will stick to science. The fog of words you weave around a subject generally leaves me none the wiser, and often slightly confused, for having groped my way through it.

This might seem like perfect psychobabble to you. If so, I'm really sorry for that.

Hallelujah! We agree on something!

(Mainly I'm just recapitulating Aristotle here.) It seems to me, the character of evolutionary development may very well depend in some way on the conditions of its origin. It seems to me a "life science" cannot forever dodge this problem.

What difference would you have in evolution if life started 1) naturally, 2) seeded from outer space, or 3) by some divine intervention? Please specify where the theory of evolution would have to be different for any of these three possibilities.

Darwin's theory is not a theory about the origin of life (or consciousness). I accept that. Though you'd think biology in general would want to come to grips with origins at some point.

Yes, I know its a theory. I have posted the definition of a theory dozens of times trying to educate others here on what a theory really is.

Biology does want to come to grip with origins. The theory of evolution is not the method it uses. There are hypotheses which are exploring origins, but none has yet gained sufficient support to be classified as a theory. (A biology book will contain hundreds of hypotheses and theories, along with the theory of evolution. Only creationists seem to think one theory has to, just HAS TO, deal with all of these diverse subjects.)

At the same time, I notice many people these days making Darwinist evolution theory the linchpin of an entire cosmology that does speculate about the origins of life.... On my view FWIW this is an illegitimate translation from science into fields where it is not appropriate.

Look closer. There may be more than one theory or hypothesis being addressed. Perhaps your disdain for evolution has led you to miss the dividing lines between separate lines of research?

Be that as it may, to say that I do not regard Darwin's theory as "complete" should hardly be objectionable. It is the job of science to constantly prepare to find itself in a situation where its "best" theory is overcome by new insights and developments.

And that is the case. However, with regard to the theory of evolution, there is currently no competing theory.

There have been two earth-shattering revolutions in the physical sciences within the past 100 years; but Darwinism just goes along "unevolved" as it were, as if none of the new physical discoveries are relevant to it.

Really? What revolutions are you considering? The theory of evolution has dealt well with the discovery of DNA, and has emerged stronger for it.

Don't forget, Darwinist theory is just that: a theory. It is not a law of nature. So it seems to me it is perfectly appropriate to question perceived shortcomings, if only to make our understanding of the relevant problems better and stronger. Especially since as science, Darwinist theory is a tad peculiar in that it is not premised on direct observation and replicable experiments. It is historical in its approach to nature, and is largely intuitive in form.

The theory of evolution (which you erroneously call "Darwinism" so as to demonize and "ism-ize" it) is a theory. And the details of that theory are being worked out in a hundred or more technical journals. The fact that it is in part an historical science makes no difference. The scientific method works just as well on historical sciences.

Well, I don't know where all this leaves us. But I'm so very glad to hear from you, Coyoteman!

It leaves me still advocating for science and the scientific method. (But its getting pretty lonely in these here parts lately!)

15 posted on 05/16/2007 6:36:24 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman; Alamo-Girl; Jeff Gordon; hosepipe; metmom; xzins; Quix
What difference would you have in evolution if life started 1) naturally, 2) seeded from outer space, or 3) by some divine intervention?

I don't know what you mean by saying "started naturally." What is the principle or cause that gives dumb matter a kick-start to get the evolutionary process going? Are you saying that atoms are "intelligent," and therefore "know" how to do such a thing?

It's much easier for me to understand (2) and (3).

(2) is an hypothesis that excites certain people, but not me. I surmise the "panspermia" theory of seeding by "space aliens" is advanced primarily for the reason that it would obviate the need of a divine creator-god. For that reason alone it would have irresistible attraction for certain people.

But you know, the panspermiasts really do not "obviate God" by taking this position. I mean, the space aliens had to come from somewhere, too. The panspermia theory does not moot the problem of a beginning of space and time out of nothing.

As for (3), what you refer to could not be a "divine intervention," for until the moment of the beginning, there was nothing to "intervene" in. God had to create "the whole ball of wax" first -- space, time, matter, laws; which is what I believe actually happened.

And there's nothing in science that falsifies this belief. Indeed, if anything, it is recent discoveries in science itself that appear to validate it (i.e., the big-bang/inflationary universe model, which is a science of ORIGINS. It stipulates a beginning of the universe in space and time; it does not identify the cause of this beginning. But that's not science's job to do. It is there to make physical descriptions of nature, not make metaphysical observations that cannot be supported by direct observation and replicable experiments.)

Coyoteman, you wrote: "It leaves me still advocating for science and the scientific method. (But its getting pretty lonely in these here parts lately!)" But all means, continue to do that, Coyoteman. But don't get yourself trapped in "silos" of thinking. FWIW, truly I miss many of the recently departed "evos" -- you must be feeling like the "Lone Ranger" around here lately. Some of those people are first-rate thinkers and they were wonderful "adversaries" in debate.

Thank you so much for writing, Coyoteman!

36 posted on 05/19/2007 11:08:39 AM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein.)
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To: Coyoteman

You’re not alone. I enjoy reading your posts whenever these threads sprout.

89 posted on 05/22/2007 7:31:34 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Coyoteman
It leaves me still advocating for science and the scientific method. (But its getting pretty lonely in these here parts lately!)

I show up on occasion. But most of these threads have fewer occasions for Calvin and Hobbes or bad puns, so I mostly stay quiet.

Did you see my ping to you about the Chinese cat that sprouted 'wings' wrt "hopeful monsters"?


117 posted on 05/25/2007 10:03:48 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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