They want to forget Darwin ... [help]

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MDLarson

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Giaguara said:
So, the humans were immortal before? And they had a steady amount of people on the earth, as if they were immortal it would have made absolutely no sense to anyone ever make any kids? :)
Yeah, that's a good point, and admitedly one that I had not given much thought to. I'm curious now. My guess is that people simply would not reproduce after the world 'filled up', like you mentioned.

Actually, such a phenomenon is taking place in some European countries now. The population is projected to decline as people are growing older and NOT having kids--there's no perceived need or desire.
 

brianleahy

Colonel Panic
I saw an outstanding episode of Nova ("World In the Balance") that talked about population trends in different parts of the world. The very general yardstick seems to be, oddly enough, that the better living conditions are, the lower the birth rate.

Raking the creation/evolution muck, a T-Shirt design:

http://www.northernsun.com/cgi-bin/nsm/19402.html

Disclaimer: Let the record show that I acknowledge this tongue-in-cheek slogan adds little of substance to the debate at hand. I offer it more as humor than as an actual argument.
 

MDLarson

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I received an email back from AIG regarding our earlier issue of 'additive' mutations. The person replying did not directly deal with Talk.Origins' claims, which is somewhat dissatisfying.

But, AIG said "Talk Origins is not a site with peer reviewed material. It is actually a lay site disguised as scientific." AIG also called into question the integrity of the Talk.Origins folks, following this logic: "the people involved in the Talk Origins website do not believe in God. Therefore, they have no reason to believe in ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If they did, then they are admitting that there is a God who sets what is good and bad. ... Since they believe in concepts such as ‘no right and no wrong’, they have no reason to speak the truth. So be wary of their claims and check every fact all the way back to a single source document and their logic."

Finally, they provided a link to this article that attempts to show how the Talk.Origins site is fallable, and at worst deceitful. I have not read the article in full yet.

***

If you have been a part of this debate, you are probably at least a little mad right now, because perhaps you believe that AIG is calling into question your integrity. You do not 'lie', after all; you are searching for 'the truth'.

Personally I am not willing to call anyone here a liar, but I believe AIG makes a good point; what makes right or wrong? Who says lying is bad or wrong? To borrow an illustration from nature, the snapping turtle sits perfectly still, submerged in the water with his mouth open. The turtle moves his tongue to make it look like a worm coming out of the dirt in the water. A trusting fish swims by, sees the 'worm', and tries to make it a meal. Instead, the fish becomes the snapper's meal, all because of deception. The worm was a lie.

If we evolved, why should I not extend this logic to my everyday life? I can cheat on my taxes; lie to people about my circumstances to get money out of them; etc. After all, it's only natural, right? (People do, in fact, exercise their right to justify anything they want to do in this way.)

In contrast, Christianity (and other religions that teach a divine moral code) have a source and reason for integrity. It is a command, not a self-imposed belief that waxes and wanes with culture.

***

I'm have to sum up where I stand on the original issue of the Talk.Origins references in regards to mutations. Right now I have 4 unsubstantiated studies that claim to refute AIG's stance of "no mutation can add information". Everything else I know in nature (be it genetics or inorganic assemblies, etc.) winds down and falls apart without outside help. EVERYTHING. It takes great effort by smart people to create something that will last... for a while.

My stance remains the same: "No mutation adds information to the mix."

If anyone wants to see the original email I received from AIG, PM me. I will gladly PM or email it to you.
 

brianleahy

Colonel Panic
Oh MD, here you need to distance yourself from these folks.

They have "defined" atheists as untrustworthy - a slur about as offensive as my "defining" the faithful as deluded fools, and the Bible as a fairy tale. This 'retort' is equivalent to "Why should I believe anything a stupid <racial epithet> says?" Comebacks of this type are what you pull out when your actual arguments have dried up, but you're unwilling to concede any ground to your opponent.

You're better and smarter than this. If you actually felt that way, then this entire discussion has been a waste of time. Why would you bother to defend your faith to a bunch of lying atheists? This reply is no victory; it's a sign of AIG's desperation.

They blinked first.
 

Cat

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the people involved in the Talk Origins website do not believe in God. Therefore, they have no reason to believe in ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
That's nonsensical. The second claim does not follow from the first. I do not believe in a god who establishes what is right or wrong or good or evil. I define for myself what is good etc. Hence I have no god, but I do have good. Tasty food is good, helping grannies cross the street is good, doing my job is good etc. I do not need a god to have a concept of what is good. I refrain from cheating my wife-to-be or the taxes because I can envision the consequences and it would damage my principles. I give trust because I need trust. No god required. Hence the argument is fallacious. Atheists do have a concept of good and wrong, without god.

Morover, you seem to confuse thermodynamics and biology. We know that entropy increases all the time, but this does not mean there are no transient but stable intermediate stages. Until there is enough hydrogen, our sun will keep shining. When the hydrogen is used up, it will explode and dissipate and go into a lower level of energy. So do we. However, we do procreate, we do change over time, but as a species we are fairly stable. In the brief window of e few million years which have been conceded to the human genus, we have evolved. From more primitive organisms we have evolved a lot of usefull features at the expense of others. We do not have a prensile tail anymore, we cannot smell as well, but we have acquired complex language and detailed finger manipulation. These require subtly different genes, of which we still share 99.9% with chimps. So we do not require enormous revolutionary new information in our genes to make evolution possible. Small changes can account for a lot. The 0.1% that differs seems to be enough. It is different, not better. We survive in our niche just as others survive in theirs. The whole "new/better information" is nonsense I think. A square peg fits well in a square hole and less well in a round one. Should we say the square peg is superior to the round one? That is contains better "information"?
 

MDLarson

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I thought it might get a reaction like this, sorry. The only thing that I came away with in the AIG reply was that the Talk.Origins examples of additive mutation are not authoritative. To categorically characterize any one group of people as dishonest is not an argument, I know that. That's why I said I was a little disappointed when their response did not actually dive into the issue at hand. My assumption is that AIG does not have the time or resources to investigate claims made by a lay-person site (which they claim Talk.Origins is).

I can't talk for long right now, I just want to make it clear that I do not agree with everything in the AIG reply; I was only posting it for "posterity".

Cat, I understood entropy to be decreasing. I took a quick look at dictionary.com's definition of it and I can't quite get a grasp of what it means. I remember learning about it before, but what you're telling me about "entropy increasing all the time" seems to clash with what I thought it meant. :p

Anyway, again, sorry for any misunderstandings!
 

brianleahy

Colonel Panic
The "Bob's Place" section is reserved for any subject at all, regardless how off-topic.

Also, yours is the first post to this thread in several years.
 
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