Evolution versus Creationism

This forum is the place to have more serious discussions about politics and religion, and your opinions thereof. Be courteous!

Moderator: Forum Administrators

Forum rules
When a registered user insults another person (user or not), nation, political group or religious group, s/he will be deprived of her/his permission to post in the forum. That user has the right to re-register one week after s/he has lost the permission. Further violations will result in longer prohibitions.

By default, you are automatically registered to post in this forum. However, users cannot post in the politics forum during the first week after registration. Users can also not make their very first post in the politics forum.

Evolution versus Creationism

I believe in Evolution
88
80%
I believe in Creationism
7
6%
I believe in Itelligent Design
4
4%
I believe in Theistic Evolutionism
11
10%
 
Total votes: 110

User avatar
hreru
Posts: 751
Joined: 2005-10-27, 13:14
Gender: female
Country: CZ Czech Republic (Česká republika)
Contact:

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby hreru » 2014-10-10, 18:52

Varislintu wrote:The best thing according to whom? :) For those people? I guess so. From my perspective? No.

Minor correction here: the assumption was everyone would think so and commit suicide, you'd be a corpse,too. :P

Massimiliano B wrote:There is still someone who thinks evolution can explain everything - even morality.

Might well be. Any thought is open for a misunderstanding or an abuse. Who does?

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15324
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Varislintu » 2014-10-10, 19:11

Massimiliano B wrote:They are doing it because they believe in a universal truth. So, why do you imitate them?

I want you to comment on why you are doing it. What's the reason? I know that the fact is that you do that like others do that. You are surely free to do that, obviously, without giving any reason for that.


I have to say that I think it's impossible to live with other humans without doing it. It's embedded in the interactions that we have with each other, and a necessity for societies to exist. A hermit in the woods might be able to not do it, if they never meet anyone.

How would you live without ever trying to spread your values? You took part in the thread here on Unilang on abortion, for example. You did it there just by expressing what you think. Just by expressing what you think to people who will read or listen to you, you add your opinion to the pool of current existing values, and force anyone who becomes aware of it to make a value analysis on it in their heads. You might slightly shift what is the dominant value in the society, and you might influence someone's personal moral compass with your argumentation.
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15324
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Varislintu » 2014-10-10, 19:13

hreru wrote:
Varislintu wrote:The best thing according to whom? :) For those people? I guess so. From my perspective? No.

Minor correction here: the assumption was everyone would think so and commit suicide, you'd be a corpse,too. :P


I guess I'd have to split me into two persons, the one now and the one after everyone goes suicidal. :P Then it works again. :)
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15324
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Varislintu » 2014-10-10, 19:18

BTW, my philosophy knowledge sucks, but I think the question about whether all values need to be equally respected or considered valid, is not in the realm of subjectivism, but moral relativism. The way I have understood moral relativism, I don't hold it. EDIT: Oh wait, I guess I do hold descriptive moral relativism, as defined in the Wikipedia article.
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-11, 17:03

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:So, why does a lot of people discuss about how rights are not respected in some countries? Why do you think that the law which forbids abortion in Ireland is wrong? The majority of the Irish people think it's a right law.

If you think that, then you haven't been following the debate. Less than 20% of the population thinks the law is okay as it stands and more than half the population are in favour of holding a referendum to repeal the constitutional ban on abortion (although such a referendum would still probably fail).

But what does any of this have to do with evolutionary theory?


I want just to say that evolutionary theory has some limits. It says how moral sentiments have evolved, but also how immoral sentiments did evolve - in other words, how good inclinations and bad inclinations have arisen. But the reason why one prefers the 'good' inclinations and hates the 'bad' inclinations is out of the reach of the evolutionary theory. "I prefer the good ones because they are good to me" doesn't mean anything to me.


Varislintu wrote:I have to say that I think it's impossible to live with other humans without doing it. It's embedded in the interactions that we have with each other, and a necessity for societies to exist. A hermit in the woods might be able to not do it, if they never meet anyone.

How would you live without ever trying to spread your values? You took part in the thread here on Unilang on abortion, for example. You did it there just by expressing what you think. Just by expressing what you think to people who will read or listen to you, you add your opinion to the pool of current existing values, and force anyone who becomes aware of it to make a value analysis on it in their heads. You might slightly shift what is the dominant value in the society, and you might influence someone's personal moral compass with your argumentation.


I understand you. But I do that (I express what I think) because I think, in the inner part of me, that there is an ultimate truth somewhere, inside me or outside me.

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15324
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Varislintu » 2014-10-11, 18:08

Massimiliano B wrote:"I prefer the good ones because they are good to me" doesn't mean anything to me.


I understand.

For me, wondering about it past this point feels like a futile exercise, because I don't think there needs to be an answer to it, and also because I think ultimately the answer is "I/we don't know". If someone hypothesises about some kind of universal or objective values and their sources, it remains hypothesising to me. There is no way I could know that they are connected to the objective truth better than me, or a sadistical sociopathic killer. The people with the 'truth' often seem to disagree. And in practice it always ends up being subjective anyway. :P This kind of mere guesswork doesn't help me solve moral problems, because I still couldn't really solve them morally by going against my own morals. There's nothing the objective values could add to the process. It would become either command morality (which is scary in its randomness), or I would just happen to agree with the objective values, making them indistinguishable from subjective values to me. If I can't reliably connect to the ultimate truth, and distinguish it from illusions, what good is it to me or anyone?

Likewise, the naturalistic theories about how empathy and philanthropy might have developed to be so complex in humans because they were useful to us as social animals don't solve any of my real world ethical dilemmas (they're not supposed to, either). To solve ethical dilemmas, I can only use my inner moral compass, although naturally I can try to sort of cultivate that compass by engaging in critical thinking and listening to others and observing real world consequences.

Massimiliano B wrote:I understand you. But I do that (I express what I think) because I think, in the inner part of me, that there is an ultimate truth somewhere, inside me or outside me.


Yes, okay. I see what you mean. I can't really give you the reason you seek.

Granted, I can see how a sense of an ultimate truth would make it seem more legitimate to you to try to spread your values. I guess what I can't fully see from your perspective, is why there needs to be a 'truth'. Why there needs to be that ultimate legitimation. The need for that is missing from me. I can hear you when you say that you want/need/believe in it, but I can't fully imagine what that feels like, because I don't desire it. To me, the human race is basically just fumbling along, making it up as we go. But we're similar enough to each other that many of us share crucial values, and thus we become motivated to drive human society in certain directions. We do it because it feels like the right direction, but I don't really think my values are some kind of 'truth' in the grand scheme of things. :hmm:
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22089
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-11, 18:59

Massimiliano B wrote:I want just to say that evolutionary theory has some limits. It says how moral sentiments have evolved, but also how immoral sentiments did evolve - in other words, how good inclinations and bad inclinations have arisen. But the reason why one prefers the 'good' inclinations and hates the 'bad' inclinations is out of the reach of the evolutionary theory.

Actually they're not. Just look at all the work which has been done reconciling evolutionary theory with the existence of altruism (which appears to exist not only in humans but in many animal species as well). When you keep in mind that evolution works over populations rather than individuals, then there are some quite rational explanations for why people behave in ways that we consider "moral".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-11, 22:53

I am not a population. I am an individual.

Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't. Does it tell us why life is better than death? No, it does not. It cannot explain why - it just says that populations and individuals behave in a certain different ways.
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-11-07, 18:37, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22089
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-12, 0:00

Massimiliano B wrote:I am not a population. I am an individual.

No man is an island.

Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't. Foes it tell us why life is better than death? No, it does not. It cannot explain why - it just says that populations and individuals behave in a certain way.

Does Christianity explain these things? I guess if you consider, "Because an invisible being whose existence can neither be proven or disproven said so according to a book most people in the world consider fiction" an explanation of some sort, then yes. Otherwise, that's a no.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
hreru
Posts: 751
Joined: 2005-10-27, 13:14
Gender: female
Country: CZ Czech Republic (Česká republika)
Contact:

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby hreru » 2014-10-13, 7:15

Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't. Foes it tell us why life is better than death? No, it does not.

I still don’t get why you’re insisting on the limits. Why should evolution explain this? :hmm: (By the way, I didn‘t know that survival of the mankind is good, or that life is better than death. :P )

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Novi Sad
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Saim » 2014-10-13, 7:56

Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't.


That's just not what evolutionary theory is about.

Does germ theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?
Does gravitational theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?
Does any theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?

And more importantly, why should they?

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-13, 18:15

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:I am not a population. I am an individual.

No man is an island.

Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't. Foes it tell us why life is better than death? No, it does not. It cannot explain why - it just says that populations and individuals behave in a certain way.

Does Christianity explain these things? I guess if you consider, "Because an invisible being whose existence can neither be proven or disproven said so according to a book most people in the world consider fiction" an explanation of some sort, then yes. Otherwise, that's a no.



The fact is that there is no explanation. If you want you can believe (but I prefer to say "hope") that there is something we cannot even conceive that, in an unthinkable way, is the ultimate source of all the being. Some religions do that by talking about a God which is the subject of a revelation to human beings. You can accept such view, but you also can reject it.

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-13, 18:34

hreru wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't. Foes it tell us why life is better than death? No, it does not.

I still don’t get why you’re insisting on the limits. Why should evolution explain this? :hmm: (By the way, I didn‘t know that survival of the mankind is good, or that life is better than death. :P )


Why do I insist on the limits? Because if there is a limit, there is also space for something different from the simple immanent - or "material" - world.

However, if the evolutionary theory explained everything, it would be even easier to see the mechanism of our world - subject to casuality - like a world determined completely by the will of someone. Paradoxically enough, to find the link between such a mechanicistic world and a free, almighty and transcendent being is easier than to see the link between a world in which free will has its place and such an almighty being.
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-10-13, 19:07, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-13, 19:01

Saim wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Does the evolutionary theory tells us why the survival the human species is good? No, it doesn't.


That's just not what evolutionary theory is about.

Does germ theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?
Does gravitational theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?
Does any theory explain why the survival of the human species is good?


Evolutionary theory has been used in order to discredit any kind of religious and metaphysical worldview. Since religions and methaphysical worldviews try to give us an answer to that question ("Why the survival of the human species is good?") - by pointing out, at the same time, the limits that any tentative in this way always has - I think it's not unnecessary to emphasize a limit of evolutionary theory that seems insuperable.

Saim wrote: And more importantly, why should they?


Should not the evolutionary theory give an account of any kind of organism we see - including not only the physical structure, but even of the higher capacities of human intellect? If the answer is "no, it should not", there's then some space for different explications, which can even include religious or metaphysical ones.
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2014-11-07, 18:39, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22089
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-13, 19:25

Massimiliano B wrote:Evolutionary theory has been used in order to discredit any kind of religious worldview.

No, only those religious worldviews which claim that life was created and directed by some specific supernatural entity.

Massimiliano B wrote:Should not the evolutionary theory give an account of any kind of organism we see - including not only the physical structure, but even of the higher capacities of human intellect?

This is exactly the question which gave rise to memetics.

Massimiliano B wrote:If the answer is "no, it should not", there's then some space for different explications, which can even include religious or metaphysical ones.

Sure--but there's a huge difference between saying "there's room for metaphysical explanations" and there's room for my specific metaphysical interpretation. Evolution provides no evidence at all for the Christian worldview, and it disproves particular Christian worldviews which rely on interpreting literally the creation stories given in Genesis.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
IpseDixit
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 9580
Joined: 2013-05-06, 21:06
Gender: male
Location: Bologna / Florence
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-10-13, 19:30

Why do I insist on the limits? Because if there is a limit, there is also space for something different from the simple immanent - or "material" - world.


On what basis can you say such a thing with so much certainty?

"There are some limits therefore a trascendental dimension exists" looks like a gigantic fallacy to me.

Moreover science has always overcome its limits with time and research. I would say that clinging on to some vague and unproven idea of a methapysical world is what intellectually lazy people do. If humanity had gone by that principle, we would've still lived in the stone age.

Evolutionary theory has been used in order to discredit any kind of religious and metaphysical worldview.


Well, it's not fault of the evolutionary theory if most of the religious worldviews fall on their face when checked against scientific proven facts.

User avatar
voron
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 4431
Joined: 2007-07-15, 3:29
Real Name: Igor
Gender: male
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby voron » 2014-10-14, 8:13

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:I want just to say that evolutionary theory has some limits. It says how moral sentiments have evolved, but also how immoral sentiments did evolve - in other words, how good inclinations and bad inclinations have arisen. But the reason why one prefers the 'good' inclinations and hates the 'bad' inclinations is out of the reach of the evolutionary theory.

Actually they're not. Just look at all the work which has been done reconciling evolutionary theory with the existence of altruism (which appears to exist not only in humans but in many animal species as well). When you keep in mind that evolution works over populations rather than individuals, then there are some quite rational explanations for why people behave in ways that we consider "moral".

How morality, altruism and other traits of human nature could have evolved in accordance with the evolutionary theory is the subject of evolutionary psychology.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22089
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-14, 12:37

voron wrote:How morality, altruism and other traits of human nature could have evolved in accordance with the evolutionary theory is the subject of evolutionary psychology.

I tend to avoid that term because people like Santoshi Kanazawa have given it such a bad rep by putting more effort into spinning just-so stories than in producing testable hypotheses. Moreover, by definition it applies only to humans. Explanation of altruism etc. in animals is the province of comparative psychology or ethology. The terminology is somewhat moot, however, because scientists in all of these disciplines are working within the framework of the theory of evolution.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-16, 8:40

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:If the answer is "no, it should not", there's then some space for different explications, which can even include religious or metaphysical ones.

Sure--but there's a huge difference between saying "there's room for metaphysical explanations" and there's room for my specific metaphysical interpretation. Evolution provides no evidence at all for the Christian worldview, and it disproves particular Christian worldviews which rely on interpreting literally the creation stories given in Genesis.


I don't have any specific metaphysical interpretation.

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1763
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-10-16, 8:44

IpseDixit wrote:
Why do I insist on the limits? Because if there is a limit, there is also space for something different from the simple immanent - or "material" - world.


On what basis can you say such a thing with so much certainty?

"There are some limits therefore a trascendental dimension exists" looks like a gigantic fallacy to me.


Did I say "There are some limits therefore a trascendental dimension exists" ?? I've read my last posts and I don't find such a claim.


Return to “Politics and Religion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests