User Tag List

12311 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 125

  1. #1
    Sniffles
    Guest

    Default Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design - good take on this issue

    Rainbows urged me to post this, since it puts an interesting twist to this common issue.

    One thing that irritates me is how this debate is often misconstructed as one between religion and science, when in fact it's no such thing. Here's an important point made:
    It is only in the past two or three decades that serious frictions began to emerge on a wider scale. Evolution theory was (rather unpredictably) turned into a rock-hard ideology, the intention of which was to act aggressively against religion. On the religious side the response was mostly a defensive one.

    Why did things happen this way? I have a pet theory. “Conquering” and “triumphalist” secularist Christophobia used to rely, until recently, on three solid columns: Marx, Freud, and Darwin. We know very well how Marxism began to crumble, both theoretically and in practical ways; right now it is, at best, a phenomenon of the rearguard, of the losers and of the backward or hopeless activists and nations. We know equally well that Freud is treated by knowledgeable people, indeed by the public at large, with a kind of patronizing smile. A great genius? Some would continue to say so, but few would regard him as such in practice. Under these circumstances it became enormously important, even essential, for materialist determinists (and actual Christophobes) to rally around Darwin, to bolster him, to turn a mild scholarly hypothesis into a strict and dogmatic ideology.

    One of the unintended supports of the rigid Darwinists came ironically from fundamentalist and literalist “creationists.” These people had never understood or accepted the complex and sophisticated mode of reading the Bible that Medieval Scholastics (and, even earlier, Talmudic scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures) had developed. They ignored the multiplicity of semantic layers (literal, symbolic, moral, anagogical—and sometimes more) to be found in the wealth of meanings embedded in the Sacred Texts. Likewise they were oblivious of the multiple rational arguments vindicating God and His ways. Most of the “creationists” were content with a literal reading of the Bible and with an explanation of Divine existence on the simple level of literal deduction (often described as “Revelation”: many of us may hesitate to label it so). I do not doubt the good intentions of such individuals, nor do I object to their firm faith. I merely note that by their positions they were turned into an easy prey and convenient foil for their adversaries and they opened an unjustified rift between reason and faith.

    Fortunately, the response of most Catholics (as well as of a number of Protestants and Eastern Orthodox faithful) was placed on a rather different level and did not resort to a wholesale negation of scientific accomplishments. The mainstream Christian intellectuals sought their support from objective, neutral scholars and researchers, particularly those in “cutting-edge” sciences such as genetics and astrophysics. They simultaneously looked back to the classical arguments of the existence of God, as developed particularly in the Middle Ages. The latter had been considered obsolete or demolished by many in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Some or most of these arguments showed a remarkable resilience, however, and proved that in a renewed version they could be of considerable help in the renewed debate. Thus, for instance, the “teleological argument.”


    This argument was fully developed by Averroes and by St. Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Ages, but early, somewhat sketchier outlines can be found already in the writings of Plato (e.g., Timaios and the Republic), Aristotle (Metaphysics), Cicero and the Neo-Platonic movement in general (not least St. Augustine). In simple summary it said that the universe is too orderly, purposeful, even beautiful to be the result of random mechanical causes; the assumption of Divine creation makes sense, it is in fact inevitable. While in its “hard” form it was doubted early on, the teleological argument “expanded” and ramified. In one way it was used (unexpectedly) by British empiricists—and occasionally even by Voltaire (!); in other ways, and more recently, it engendered the “argument from beauty” (at least since the great Chateaubriand on); even more recently, the “anthropic principle” or “teleonomy.” And more generally it provided ammunition for the wider “post-secularist” movement.” Such simple facts should be familiar to all intellectuals who are not hopelessly ignorant or ill-intentioned.

    Two recent books—one French, one German—expand in highly sophisticated ways this “ramification” of the teleological argument and interestingly undermine the dogmatist and materialist “Darwinism” of the noisy “new atheists.”
    First Principles - Foreign News on Intelligent Design

    As the author notes later on, many of the philosophical premises of "New Atheists" like Dawkins and others seem rather passe and outdated on many levels.
    Last edited by Bellflower; 11-10-2009 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Title typo is driving me nutso ;)

  2. #2
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    7,917

    Default

    So what exactly are you suggesting? That Intelligent Design is actual science and not just creationism lite?

  3. #3
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Socionics
    B.S.
    Posts
    1,155

    Default

    Yes the catholic church isn't creationist in the strict sense. In fact it's fairly nebulous on which parts of evolutionary science it accepts. This would make it hard for any atheist evolutionary biologist to debate the topic. Instead they focus their arguments on the fundamentalist christians who have stricter stances on creation and are more of a hindrance to science in general.
    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    sheesh humans! for realz

  4. #4
    Ginkgo
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Rainbows urged me to post this, since it puts an interesting twist to this common issue.

    One thing that irritates me is how this debate is often misconstructed as one between religion and science, when in fact it's no such thing. Here's an important point made:
    This is merely an appeal to semantics. I guarantee you that the motives of those on the "intelligent design" side of the argument are largely theological. Albeit the couple of flakes who propose that "aliens did it", or something to that affect. Does that disprove creationism? No.


    One of the unintended supports of the rigid Darwinists came ironically from fundamentalist and literalist “creationists.” These people had never understood or accepted the complex and sophisticated mode of reading the Bible that Medieval Scholastics (and, even earlier, Talmudic scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures) had developed. They ignored the multiplicity of semantic layers (literal, symbolic, moral, anagogical—and sometimes more) to be found in the wealth of meanings embedded in the Sacred Texts.
    In all fairness, I adore analogies and symbols; but let me give you an example of how loose definitions and stories can have dangerous consequences:

    Today, words such as freedom, terrorism, honor, and anti-American are flippantly tossed around in the Political propaganda of the U.S.A. Surely, some of these phrases inspire general emotional messages within the populous. Hope, grandeur, fear, hate. Why do these terms invoke universal emotion?

    It's because their definitions are not universal. One man might hear President Obama utter the word "Freedom", and gleefully think "Oh right! Economic freedom! Lower those taxes, buddy!" Meanwhile, his wife may be thinking "Hmm, freedom of choice?"

    Loose interpretations mean everything, and yet nothing at all.

    This is why literalism is superior, and ultimately less dangerous.

    Does that disprove creationism? No.

    This argument was fully developed by Averroes and by St. Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Ages, but early, somewhat sketchier outlines can be found already in the writings of Plato (e.g., Timaios and the Republic), Aristotle (Metaphysics), Cicero and the Neo-Platonic movement in general (not least St. Augustine). In simple summary it said that the universe is too orderly, purposeful, even beautiful to be the result of random mechanical causes; the assumption of Divine creation makes sense, it is in fact inevitable. While in its “hard” form it was doubted early on, the teleological argument “expanded” and ramified.
    There are too many intuitive leaps in this argument. Empirical evidence suggest that complex systems such as our universe are entropic. The complexity and beauty of a thing does not confirm its functionality.

    Now, one might suggest that "Because humanity has been around for so long, and because our universe is so beautiful, we must have a purpose." However, we are but specs of dust; floating in a vast system of time and space. What humanity perceives on a sensual and temporal level is so minuscule that such an intuitive argument is hard to fathom. We are surveying a beautiful leaf for a millisecond within a tyrannical hurricane that will last for hours.

    "The argument of beauty" is just as justified by saying "Yesterday, a magnificent peacock pooped on my head. GOD MUST EXIST!!"

    Does that disprove creationism? No.

    Obviously, creationism is hard to nip in the bud. I wonder why.

  5. #5
    Sniffles
    Guest

    Default

    Mystic, can you present an actual coherent point please?

  6. #6
    Ginkgo
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Mystic, can you present an actual coherent point please?
    Not really. To many arguments and counter arguments in my mind. None of them fully invalidate the others.

    They're like my children. It would be wrong to favor one over the other.

    I need some sleep...

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18,529

    Default Sam Harris

    If I were an apologist of religion, the person I would most fear would be Sam Harris.

    He is not an entertainer like Christopher Hitchens or an obtuse philosopher like Dennet. He is very calm and easily understood and completely deadly in intention.

    He seems to be well balanced and very well informed. He is not the kind of opponent I would wish on my worst enemy.

    And yet here he is. He has set his sights on religion. And if anyone can succeed, it is likely to be Sam Harris.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    SEXY
    Posts
    1,868

    Default

    The difficulty with combining religion and science is that religion exists of dogmas. If science discovers something new that doesn't fit in with religion's existing ideologies religion will at first simply deny it, then as it becomes apparent that religion was wrong, which history has shown, it always is, they change their dogmas to incorporate the scientific discoveries. Yes, they change, but they're still dogmas.

    A past example would be Copernicus, who mentioned that the sun rather then the earth is the centre of the solar system. The catholic church denied this theory at first but when it became painfully apparent that the catholic church was wrong they adapted their ideas and suddenly said that the earth was the 'spiritual' rather then the physical centre of the universe. They changed their wrong dogma, into a new dogma.

    Intelligent design is just the same stupid shit as creationism, but science just hasn't got round to disproving it yet.
    (removed)

  9. #9
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5/8
    Socionics
    ENTp None
    Posts
    4,754

    Default

    So, what are your thoughts, Peguy?

    The Catholic church, when under the wisdom of Pope John Paul II, embraced evolution as "more than mere hypothesis" in 1996.

    How this applies to the layman remain to be seen; yet, papal identity has accepted evolution - and not Creationism - as the relevant architecture for our biological heritage.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Pretty much that's it.

    The two areas are based on different approaches to truth.

    The scientific method is designed to weed out things that cannot be supported by evidence, even if it takes some time to gather that evidence. Revelation-based truth is necessarily authoritarian ... you're asked to choose to accept a given truth source as an authority, and there is no real basis to vet the choice. Some beliefs might be more vettable than others, but the bottom line is that in the end they have to be accepted based on faith in the authority in question.

    I think the main proponents of Intelligent Design have placed themselves on record (I don't know if Behe ever stated it clearly, he might have, but I know Johnson and others have) that their goal is to destroy evolution's credibility and try to replace it with ID, and there is a chartable direct line of descent between creationism being pushed into schools followed by ID when creationism was not permitted. The highest profile was the Dover, PA case a few years ago, where it was clearly shown that the textbooks being pushed by the anti-evolution side were derived from old textbooks that talked about evolution... and in this case, the editors just ran search-and-replaces on creationism and replaced the term with Intelligent Design. This is one (among many) reasons the spiritual-minded judge still basically ruled against the school district and got ID tossed out of the school system there... it's obviously just Strategy #2 in the creationist arsenal and not derived from the scientific method, so it can't be taught as 'science' although it could be taught as an alternative belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    So, what are your thoughts, Peguy? The Catholic church, when under the wisdom of Pope John Paul II, embraced evolution as "more than mere hypothesis" in 1996.

    How this applies to the layman remain to be seen; yet, papal identity has accepted evolution - and not Creationism - as the relevant architecture for our biological heritage.
    I always thought that was interesting, since I grew up as a Protestant and of course this was one reason why the people I was surrounded by had a cynicism of catholicism ... because it had "accepted evolution" and thus wasn't "really Christian." (I knew a lot of Y.E.C's and still know a few, although they've been passing away now.) As I got older, I realized the world and beliefs were more diverse legitimately than I had been taught...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

Similar Threads

  1. Evolution vs. Intelligent Design/Creationism
    By Anentropic IxTx in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 161
    Last Post: 11-10-2013, 11:56 PM
  2. Dennis Quaid's take on Doc Holliday vs. Val Kilmer's
    By DoctorCroupy#9 in forum Popular Culture and Type
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-03-2013, 08:18 PM
  3. [E9] Eights, What's Your Take On This?
    By bechimo in forum Enneatypes
    Replies: 110
    Last Post: 12-29-2010, 02:24 AM
  4. A new/old take on temperament theory: Has anyone heard of this?
    By Bethy in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-26-2007, 09:17 PM
  5. Ken Miller on Intelligent Design
    By darlets in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-08-2007, 05:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO