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Can O'Worms + Opener...

One of my main principles in life is LEARN. Just learn about things. Everything, as much as possible. I it perhaps explains why sometimes I come across as pedantic and, I guess, occationally patronising. I don't mean to be, but I like accuracy and clarification. Ah c'est la vie.

I delve into subjects until I know them as much as I can. One of the recent subjects that has been popular was Evolution. What really impresses me is the complete lack of knowledge most people have about Evolution, Natural Selection, and the basic principles of both.

Especially if they are arguing for "the other side" as it were.

For example - the argument of Irreducible Complexity, where say... something as complex as a watch must have been designed, and as life is more complex still so it must also have a designer (Paley's Watch as it is called) has been destroyed now for years. Darwin himself dealt with it in Origin. Yet it is still used!

Also, for gods sake, Evolution is not the same as Natural Selection. Darwin didn't propose Evolution, he proposed the method of Natural Selection as the way Evolution works. He also didn't answer everything and he acknowledged that - later work has filled in almost all the missing pieces. The parts that aren't filled in are usually filled in by various competing ideas, they aren't holes as much as competing theories that need to be tested. Therein lies the difference between faith and science really - science doesn't mind being wrong, it just wants to know what is right.

Evolution, both macro and micro, has been shown to exist... it's there, there is no argument over the fact that species change. Fossil records and observational evidence is overwhelming. However it is the process by which this evolution happens that is the question and the controversy - and it was this question that Darwin was trying to answer. Arguing against "Evolution" is like arguing against gravity, but if you want to argue against Natural Selection then please do! There are many scientists out there that would love some genuine discussion.

The common Intelligent Design/Creationism arguments (like the Watch, the 'half an eye' question, the parasitic wasp, and even bacterial flagellum) have been destroyed so totally that anyone that uses them only shows their ignorance on the subject.

Also - and I should say (as if you didn't know) that I'm not religious - Evolution and Natural Selection don't disprove, deny, or generally insult, anything but a literal view of the Bible/Torah/ Qur'an. If like the 10,000 clergy members in this article you take the view that the bible is a story designed to carry ideas, not literal truth, into the minds of people - then there is no reason why a God/Jehovah/Allah couldn't have set in motion the mechanisms for Evolution (and science has shown that mechanism is almost certainly Natural Selection). Basically you are saying that G/J/A is a bloody good engineer.

In fact anything less is not really giving a Supreme Being credit for being, well, supreme. This is a strange position to have if you are religious really...


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
21st Feb, 2006 13:19 (UTC)
there is no reason why a God/Jehovah/Allah couldn't have set in motion the mechanisms for Evolution

A small period after the first time I had that thought, I stumbled upon the first book of Neale Donald Walsch and it said the same. :)
21st Feb, 2006 13:26 (UTC)
It really is so wierd a position for fundies to take.

I mean, I don't really believe in the concept of a god anyhow, but it's still odd.
21st Feb, 2006 15:38 (UTC)
Not to be nitpicky (but being nitpicky nonetheless), but it could be important since you're aiming for accuracy...

It's 10,000 clergy members, not priests. If 10,000 priests signed something, I'd really not care to be honest. I don't care terribly much that 10,000 clergy members did unless I can get behind the same idea, but once again...if you're aiming for accuracy, it would be good to note that this isn't just religions that call their ministers 'priests'...
21st Feb, 2006 15:42 (UTC)
Thats a good point. I'll edit the post to amend that.
21st Feb, 2006 16:59 (UTC)
I have long maintained that science and religion can coexist. All science is, really, is trying to figure out how things work. Just because we know how it works doesn't mean it can't have been created by God. Mystery is not required.

I do, however, notice that scientists tend to think that whatever they come up with is absolutely correct and can't possibly be wrong. I mean, look at all the things in the past that scientists believed were absolutely true and, whoops! No, they were wrong. I like science best when it acknowledges that whatever it's come up with is just probably true and we could find out something later that disproves it. No matter how hard we try to make it so, it is not a definitive thing. The human body and medicine is a perfect example. There's so much we don't know. And I hate it when doctors act like they know everything, when so often they don't. If they did, then they could cure cancer and AIDS, couldn't they?

But, as long as it's put in laymen's terms, I love science. I'm no good at it, but I love learning about stuff. Therefore, I have subscriptions to Popular Science and Discovery. Sure, a lot of that stuff goes over my head, but I still learn things. And, mostly I learn that we are ALL still learning and I like that. It would sadden me if the world was that easy to figure out. Where would be the fun in that?
21st Feb, 2006 18:13 (UTC)
My sister (the priest) endorsed that letter- I'm suprised her husband (the priest) hasn't.
As to the points you raise- good for you- open those cans of worms, stir that shit-- These are issues I think about a lot, and will continue to do so while I'm in grad school for the next year and half or two years.
It makes me crazy the wacko outdated craps that gets treated as real debate over here. ugh
21st Feb, 2006 21:54 (UTC)
i'm going to make this post more fun for me to read by extracting all the words that could be potentially considered dirty.

parts that aren't filled
strange position
22nd Feb, 2006 00:19 (UTC)

So really I should have just posted "Come filled holes that have parts that aren't filled with flagellum while in a strange position"? ;)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )