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Thread: The Evolution Thread

  1. #31
    I don't have any issue with evolution per se. In the Pearl of Great Price, God tells Abraham that:

    18 ...if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.
    19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.
    So why couldn't neandrathals and other potential forefathers simply be the intelligences that were simply less intelligent than Homo Sapiens?

    I know that we like to think that there is a huge gap between apes and man and that God wouldn't have to pick a cutoff as the cutoff would be obvious, but maybe with an infinity of intelligences there is going to have to be a hard cutoff from "Adam" (potential to be like God) and "pre-adamites" (no potential to be like God).

    Just some food for thought.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post

    I know that we like to think that there is a huge gap between apes and man and that God wouldn't have to pick a cutoff as the cutoff would be obvious, but maybe with an infinity of intelligences there is going to have to be a hard cutoff from "Adam" (potential to be like God) and "pre-adamites" (no potential to be like God).

    Just some food for thought.
    Your theory might hold water if there wasn't a giant contingency of MLMs in Utah County that seem pretty proficient at finding victims which would technically be considered Homo sapiens.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    My personal belief is that we did not descend from apes, but I recognize that I could be wrong and I am willing to be surprised by new information.
    This statement reminds me of this video about taxonomy. Not only did we descend from apes, we are apes.


  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    i saw an interesting article a week or so ago about how dogs evolved from wolves, in a very short period of time (biologically speaking, perhaps less than 10,000 years). The primary biological adaptation was that dogs became capable of digesting and living off of carbohydrates, particularly wheat and potato. Wolves can only digest meat. The chicken and egg question is how the biological adaptation interacted with domestication. I wish I could find the link to that article.

    Technically, of course, people did not evolve from apes; each evolved from a common ancestor, and their lineages split 5 million years ago or more, IIRC.
    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan...olved-20130124
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  5. #35
    The rate of evolution varies between species, and is related to lifespan. The classic very rapid evolver is the fruit fly, whose DNA changes very quickly, with a lifespan of about 2 to 3 days. At the other end of the spectrum is the Bristlecone Pine tree, where life spans can be 4500+. It's pretty amazing those trees are still around and doing pretty well, when you think about it. That is a loooong time, room for some variation in climate. Of course our own distinguished professor of Geography, now Emeritus, Donald Curry, has an infamous place in the Bristlecone story. In 1964, in what is now Great Basin National Park, Curry bored a Bristlecone to determine its age. The tree died, but it turned out to be something like 4488 years old. Curry had to be one of the few people on campus to breath a sigh of relief when Pons and Fleishman went down in flames.

  6. #36
    Here is an interesting article I saw today. The overwhelming preponderance of genetic evidence points to a common male ancestor somewhere between 60,000 and 170,000 years ago. But recent discoveries show a tribe in the Congo whose Y chromosome split off 340,000 years ago. Of course the DNA is mixed with modern DNA, but the archaic markers still exist.

    http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/a...years-old.html

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    My personal belief is that we did not descend from apes.
    Do you believe we have evolved at all? If so, do you believe we have evolved from simpler life forms? How much simpler? Where is the line? If you don't believe humans have evolved, why the exception for humans among animals?
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  8. #38
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Do you believe we have evolved at all? If so, do you believe we have evolved from simpler life forms? How much simpler? Where is the line? If you don't believe humans have evolved, why the exception for humans among animals?
    The scientific evidence seems to be that we did evolve. It is possible that we did not. In any case, I believe God caused humans to be here and that we are his children. How that came to be, I don't know. It's not important to me to know exactly how. As I said, I am prepared to be surprised either way. I just find the study of evolution fascinating.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #39
    One of the most interesting things I like to read about is when humans developed those uniquely human traits: complex language, appreciation of art and music, self-awareness, fear of death, belief in God, etc.

    Seems like that started about 400,000 years ago -- where evidence of ritual burial and artwork starts, along with human control of fire.

    I know you didn't want to make this a theology vs. science debate LA but I gotta say it bugs the hell out of me when intelligent people say things like "Well it could have all happened like it says in Genesis." "Adam and Eve could have been literal people." etc.

    Genesis is a creation MYTH. That is so freaking obvious that I don't see how anybody could believe in a God who would ask people to dumb themselves down enough to call the Genesis creation myth anything other than myth, a fictional story, a creation narrative. Maybe in the 1800s it was OK to believe in a literal Adam and Eve but I think even very religious people have moved past that and will admit that they know it's fictional if they're being honest with themselves and others.

  10. #40
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    One of the most interesting things I like to read about is when humans developed those uniquely human traits: complex language, appreciation of art and music, self-awareness, fear of death, belief in God, etc.

    Seems like that started about 400,000 years ago -- where evidence of ritual burial and artwork starts, along with human control of fire.

    I know you didn't want to make this a theology vs. science debate LA but I gotta say it bugs the hell out of me when intelligent people say things like "Well it could have all happened like it says in Genesis." "Adam and Eve could have been literal people." etc.

    Genesis is a creation MYTH. That is so freaking obvious that I don't see how anybody could believe in a God who would ask people to dumb themselves down enough to call the Genesis creation myth anything other than myth, a fictional story, a creation narrative. Maybe in the 1800s it was OK to believe in a literal Adam and Eve but I think even very religious people have moved past that and will admit that they know it's fictional if they're being honest with themselves and others.
    You need to finish with "I know this is true."

    Seriously, if you're arguing that it's outlandish to say "I think God caused man to be here, but I don't know how he did that, and evolution may have been the way" is flawed thinking, that's fine. But you ought to pick other, more attractive targets for your scientific concerns, like the universal resurrection. I believe in that too.

    BTW, many believers think the Biblical Adam and Eve story may well be allegorical, in whole or in part. That's how I see it. But I acknowledge that I wasn't there so I don't know. You're the one arguing from a position of certainty. But I still love you, bless your hardened scientific heart.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    One of the most interesting things I like to read about is when humans developed those uniquely human traits: complex language, appreciation of art and music, self-awareness, fear of death, belief in God, etc.

    Seems like that started about 400,000 years ago -- where evidence of ritual burial and artwork starts, along with human control of fire.

    I know you didn't want to make this a theology vs. science debate LA but I gotta say it bugs the hell out of me when intelligent people say things like "Well it could have all happened like it says in Genesis." "Adam and Eve could have been literal people." etc.

    Genesis is a creation MYTH. That is so freaking obvious that I don't see how anybody could believe in a God who would ask people to dumb themselves down enough to call the Genesis creation myth anything other than myth, a fictional story, a creation narrative. Maybe in the 1800s it was OK to believe in a literal Adam and Eve but I think even very religious people have moved past that and will admit that they know it's fictional if they're being honest with themselves and others.
    I don't think intelligent people say it all could have happened like Genesis.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    BTW, many believers think the Biblical Adam and Eve story may well be allegorical, in whole or in part. That's how I see it. But I acknowledge that I wasn't there so I don't know. You're the one arguing from a position of certainty. But I still love you, bless your hardened scientific heart.
    Yep, and the person who wrote Genesis surely wasn't there so he doesn't know either. Of that I am certain without a shadow of a doubt and solemnly bear testimony. Amen.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You need to finish with "I know this is true."

    Seriously, if you're arguing that it's outlandish to say "I think God caused man to be here, but I don't know how he did that, and evolution may have been the way" is flawed thinking, that's fine. But you ought to pick other, more attractive targets for your scientific concerns, like the universal resurrection. I believe in that too.

    BTW, many believers think the Biblical Adam and Eve story may well be allegorical, in whole or in part. That's how I see it. But I acknowledge that I wasn't there so I don't know. You're the one arguing from a position of certainty. But I still love you, bless your hardened scientific heart.

    A+B=C, but as B approaches 0, A=C
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You need to finish with "I know this is true."

    Seriously, if you're arguing that it's outlandish to say "I think God caused man to be here, but I don't know how he did that, and evolution may have been the way" is flawed thinking, that's fine. But you ought to pick other, more attractive targets for your scientific concerns, like the universal resurrection. I believe in that too.

    BTW, many believers think the Biblical Adam and Eve story may well be allegorical, in whole or in part. That's how I see it. But I acknowledge that I wasn't there so I don't know. You're the one arguing from a position of certainty. But I still love you, bless your hardened scientific heart.
    The reason that evolution as presently characterized by mainstream science doesn't work as a mechanism of design is that fundamental to mainstream science's scheme is that evolution operates through mutations occuring randomly, accidentally in combination with natural selection. You can blithely say that evolution was God's tool, but mainstream science's evolution is at war with the Biblical view of creation. Mainstream science has concluded that our very existence is a freak of nature, an accident. Adam and Eve as an allegory just doesn't work.

    This is why Thomas Nagel's book, which posits some kind of purposeful direction to evolution (though he does not go so far as to posit God), is so controversial.

    http://www.utahby5.com/showthread.ph...ull=1#post3232

    You can make anything up you want, but if you want to address God and evolution in a principled way you need find a place for God in the actual scheme that science has described for us. Otherwise what you make up is just fantasy.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  15. #45
    LA, can you argue gravity's existence from a position of certainty? Mainstream science says there is really no difference between evolution and gravity. We know evolution exists as certainly as we know about the law of gravity. If you say it might not exist, even for humans, you lose all crediblity. We've seen a profound example of it nearly withiin actual human history -- the evoltuion of wolves into dogs. This is a sine qua non of an educated person.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  16. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I don't think intelligent people say it all could have happened like Genesis.
    I certainly have lots of uncertainties about how it actually all started, although it seems almost undeniable that evolution had a major, if not complete, role in it. That said, I don't think intelligent people could say that it couldn't have happened like Genesis.

  17. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    It seems almost undeniable that evolution had a major, if not complete, role in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    That said, I don't think intelligent people could say that it couldn't have happened like Genesis.
    I don't understand how these two ideas can coexist.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  18. #48
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    LA, can you argue gravity's existence from a position of certainty? Mainstream science says there is really no difference between evolution and gravity. We know evolution exists as certainly as we know about the law of gravity. If you say it might not exist, even for humans, you lose all crediblity. We've seen a profound example of it nearly withiin actual human history -- the evoltuion of wolves into dogs. This is a sine qua non of an educated person.
    We are now descending into the endless argument concerned mentioned earlier today. I've had enough. But I hope someday you'll prove to me that the resurrection didn't happen either. You have great faith in your doubts, my friend, more faith than many religious people I know.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  19. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I don't understand how these two ideas can coexist.
    It's pretty easy. I don't understand how someone couldn't recognize the possibility, however unlikely or improbable they think it is, that there could be a higher power that could have the capability of setting up humanity according to the Genesis story. That's kind of what you get with God; belief in Him and His attributes means that He could have set up things however He wanted. He could have done the whole A&E thing concurrent with everything else that I think you believe was going on at the time, or as the end result of that whole process, or, no matter how nuts I think it is, He could have done it Carl Everett style, with all of the scientific evidence created just to screw with you.

  20. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    It's pretty easy. I don't understand how someone couldn't recognize the possibility, however unlikely or improbable they think it is, that there could be a higher power that could have the capability of setting up humanity according to the Genesis story. That's kind of what you get with God; belief in Him and His attributes means that He could have set up things however He wanted. He could have done the whole A&E thing concurrent with everything else that I think you believe was going on at the time, or as the end result of that whole process, or, no matter how nuts I think it is, He could have done it Carl Everett style, with all of the scientific evidence created just to screw with you.
    Fair enough.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  21. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    We are now descending into the endless argument concerned mentioned earlier today. I've had enough. But I hope someday you'll prove to me that the resurrection didn't happen either. You have great faith in your doubts, my friend, more faith than many religious people I know.
    You'll notice that my post didn't have a religious element. But what I'm objecting to is your suggestion that "belief" in evolution is somehow akin to "belief" in creationism or the resurrection. It's not the same. At some point the empirical evidence becomes so overwhelming that a theory becomes a recognized fact of life, and science uses that understanding as a basis for finding new truths.

    Evolution, like gravity, has achieved that status in the mainstream scientific community. And it's not at all like your certainty that the resurrection occurred. No disrespect to youth faith intended, but it's not the same thing. We aren't debating the nature of the godhead. So, this isn't about my doubts. It's about my knowledge based on objective evidence that evolution occurred. By the way, you're the one who started this thread in the religion forum.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  22. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    It's pretty easy. I don't understand how someone couldn't recognize the possibility, however unlikely or improbable they think it is, that there could be a higher power that could have the capability of setting up humanity according to the Genesis story. That's kind of what you get with God; belief in Him and His attributes means that He could have set up things however He wanted. He could have done the whole A&E thing concurrent with everything else that I think you believe was going on at the time, or as the end result of that whole process, or, no matter how nuts I think it is, He could have done it Carl Everett style, with all of the scientific evidence created just to screw with you.
    Let's not forget that science must mean more than a head fake by God. It certainly has dear consequences to us humans actually here on earth, coping with the problem of evil and suffering, etc. By way of example, we can thank science that in our country infant mortality is almost eradicated. We can thank science that this winter's flu epidemic didn't kill hundreds of thousands of people. Some here have compared the Civil War to the WWII Eastern Front, but actually the majority of deaths occurred from illness. Many lives could have been saved with more science; for one thing, surgeons would not have repeatedly used the same uncleaned and unsterilzed saw to ampututate over and over again. No wonder more and more people look for truth in science not religion.

    However, there would be no science had Spinoza and those he influenced such as David Hume not liberated us from regarding the Bible as the source of all truth. Angels and resurrection had to be recognized as our myths akin to the Iliad before science became possible. That was the chronology.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  23. #53
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I don't think intelligent people say it all could have happened like Genesis.
    I think there is a lot of allegory in all of the OT, including the creation story. But arguments like yours here slip into ad hominem territory and don't deserve to be taken seriously. Knock it off. Come on, the science here is interesting and fun. The creation debate is boring.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    can you argue gravity's existence from a position of certainty? Mainstream science says there is really no difference between evolution and gravity. We know evolution exists as certainly as we know about the law of gravity. If you say it might not exist, even for humans, you lose all crediblity.
    Nor can you see gravity, but all things denote that it exists; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, and its motion, and also the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is gravity.

    When I told him of some of my colleagues' intellectual objections to gospel issues, he said, "Well, Brother Madsen, if only they had the Spirit they wouldn't talk this way. If only they had the Spirit."
    -Truman G. Madsen, with Spencer W. Kimball

  25. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Evolution is a science supported by evidence, but it is (for the most part) not an experimental science. You can't do controlled experiments in evolution for obvious reasons. So Neanderthal/bunny hypotheses end up being accepted simply because they are the current best explanation.

    Gravitational experiments, on the other hand, are ongoing in research labs throughout the world. Theories on gravity are supported by evidence but also by repeated, controlled experiments.
    Its interesting the infallable science chosen is gravity, since we had that wrong for so long in our Newtonian thinking. We didn't actually understand(ish) gravity until Einstein, and we only think we understand it now, but there is a reason its still called the theory of relativity.

    Science changes constantly. How long ago was it that we thought you could stand on those machines that jiggle your gut with a strap and lose belly fat? 50 years? Now we're positive we know how how the universe was created and how life has evolved? OK

    I'm probably not going to reply to whoever replies to me, because I don't like arguing on the internet. Sorry
    Last edited by SavaUte; 03-07-2013 at 10:26 AM.

  26. #56
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I moved the thread from the Institute of Religion to here, where it seems a better fit.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I moved the thread from the Institute of Religion to here, where it seems a better fit.
    Good idea.
    “The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
    Carl Sagan

  28. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Science was around before Spinoza and would have been just fine without him.
    Yes, the ancient Greeks had it. Spinoza started the Enlightement, which event culminated in the American Revolution, Darwin, computers, the end of slavery, modernity itself, etc. Spinoza was born ten years before Newton was born, and is credited as the father of the Enlightenment. His preocupation was Biblical exegesis. His Jewish faith excomunicated him or cast him out of the religion. Previously, I posted this quotation from a famous scientist about the debt owed by science to Enlightenment philosophers who critiqued religion:

    [W]hen natural theology—the scientific attempt to discern God’s attributes from His biological handiwork—gave way to Darwinism., [i]t was the philosopher David Hume who began to dismantle important aspects of natural theology. In a devastating set of arguments, Hume identified grievous problems with the argument from design (which claims, roughly, that a designer must exist because organisms show intricate design). Hume was not, however, able to offer an alternative account for the apparent design in organisms. Darwin worked in Hume’s wake and finally provided the required missing theory, natural selection.

    --H. Allen Orr, University of Rochester (published in the New York Review of Books).
    Yes, had it not been for Spinoza it may have been someon else. But somebody had to challenge the Bible's creation myth in order to liberate the minds of scientists.
    Last edited by SeattleUte; 03-07-2013 at 10:50 AM.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  29. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Does anyone else remember a story on ESPN.com a few years back about Florida recruits catching rabbits? No? Well here you go:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...adelson/070416
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I don't have a strong opinion on this, but Mormonism makes a clear distinction between humans and other animals, so such an exception make sense theologically (if not scientifically).
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Evolution is a science supported by evidence, but it is (for the most part) not an experimental science. You can't do controlled experiments in evolution for obvious reasons. So Neanderthal/bunny hypotheses end up being accepted simply because they are the current best explanation.

    Gravitational experiments, on the other hand, are ongoing in research labs throughout the world. Theories on gravity are supported by evidence but also by repeated, controlled experiments.
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    This is, of course, the best possible outcome from an entertainment point of view. The comedy value of everyone realizing that we were wrong - that the earth is 6000 years old and flat - would be off the charts. I'm afraid it's not meant to be, but I wish very much that it would all somehow end in that realization.
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Science was around before Spinoza and would have been just fine without him.
    Multiquote is in the bottom right corner of a message, just click it on all the messages you want to quote. I know you didn't ask, but I sensed you needed the assistance.
    Last edited by DanielLaRusso; 03-07-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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  30. #60
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Climate change may have driven evolution, scientists believe

    The early landscape shifted between woodland to grassland half a dozen times over 200,000 years, meaning man had to adapt to survive.


    Experts from Penn State university say that this may have set the tone for the rapid evolution which then took place.



    Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Clayton Magill said: "The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and an open grassland about five to six times during a period of 200,000 years.



    "These changes happened very abruptly, with each transition occurring over hundreds to just a few thousand years."



    The findings appear to contradict previous theories which suggest evolutionary changes were gradual, and in response to either long and steady climate change or one drastic change.


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