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Questions for evolutionists

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Brad
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50 posted 06-22-2003 10:46 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fair enough. But it seems to me that IDT makes a few dubious assumptions in order to find irreducible complexity when it ain't there.

Irreducible complexity is defined by any system that could not have evolved by natural selection. If one is found, then, it pretty much refutes evolution according to IDT.

First, if we had found a system that is irreducible complex, it does not follow that evolution is repudiated. It simply means that that organism wasn't 'created' by evolution. A big problem, no doubt, but evolution would be repudiated if everywhere we looked we found irreducible complexity and that's not what we see. So I guess I disagree with Charles on this one.

Second, evolution moves from the simpler to the more complex. This is just wrong. Evolution can just as easily move in the other direction. If we have a nuclear war, then the world goes back to the cockroaches, a 'simpler' organism, but more adaptable (or so I've been told) to radiation and nuclear winter.

Third, interlocking parts to form a system if one part goes, it can't function. The trick here is how do we define a part in a system. It turns out that at the bio-chemical level, there are almost always excess 'parts' that can be done away with and have the 'system' still function. Once a useful function has been found, co-dependence and economizing can evolve for the simple reason that it makes sense to conserve energy.

Forth, singular functionality. The idea that a wing, for example, must have evolved in order to fly, but there's no reason to believe this. One theory is that proto-wings evolved because those that had them could run a little faster (or jump a little farther), flying came later. Organs change because functions change.

Fifth, it always strikes me that an argument that depends for its punch on complexity simply ignores how complex, how diverse, things really are.

But again if you just want a biology teacher to say, "Some people disagree with this. Some people believe that there has to be a designer," I have no problems. I think the more important point is that we should be trying to figure out how to teach current, mainstream biology correctly (and also to make it interesting) to students than to expend energy on logical possibilities.

As I said earlier, it's logically possible that the earth didn't orbit the sun a thousand years ago. Does that mean we shouldn't teach that it did?

  
Krawdad
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51 posted 06-22-2003 11:39 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Stephanos,

You draw conclusions from statements that I did not make.  You put words in my mouth.
I am not interested in a discussion at that level.
The points I would make in spite of that are about your attribution of beneficial selection and complexity to evolution, but Brad has done that for me.
(Thanks, Brad)

Kraw'
Stephanos
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52 posted 06-22-2003 11:56 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Irreducible complexity is defined by any system that could not have evolved by natural selection. If one is found, then, it pretty much refutes evolution according to IDT."


No, it would refute natural selection as the panacea for all biological phenomena that we see.  As I mentioned to Ron before, Darwin's theory has been wrongly used as a nostrum to apply to all things, in both scientific and philosophical questions.  I am not implying that you do this sort of thing.  But there are many who do.  If something in nature is found which would be impossible or immensely improbable for natural selection to produce, this would at least help put Darwinism back in it's proper boundaries.  As I said before, of the ID people I have read, most of them believe in natural selection.  It is the extent of it's influence that is in question ... what it can reasonbly be thought to accomplish.



"Second, evolution moves from the simpler to the more complex. This is just wrong. Evolution can just as easily move in the other direction. If we have a nuclear war, then the world goes back to the cockroaches, a 'simpler' organism, but more adaptable (or so I've been told) to radiation and nuclear winter."


But Brad, this is not "just wrong".  Look at the total trend of evolution (if you believe it happened via that process).  Sure there may have been the flow and ebb of the tide, from complex organisms back to simpler ones, but it has always been one step back then two steps forward.  And look where we are in complexity, not theoretically speaking, but actually speaking.  You are right in saying that evolution does not dictate that it necessarily had to lead to us, but it did lead to us.  So the question about complexity is still valid.  Especially if you hold that things like consciousness and rationality are advanced evolutionary traits.  The Darwinian mechanism could have gone the other way and created more viable slimeballs with much less complexity, but it hasn't.  



"It turns out that at the bio-chemical level, there are almost always excess 'parts' that can be done away with and have the 'system' still function. Once a useful function has been found, co-dependence and economizing can evolve for the simple reason that it makes sense to conserve energy."

This is true to some degree, but it still doesn't eliminate the problem.  Let's say there is a mechanism made of 50 protein parts, and can function without 3 of them.  You still have 47 parts (and not to mention all the steps taken to assemble the parts - in engine assembly, for example, the assembly steps taken always exceed the number of parts) which you have to explain how the addition of each part provided a functional advantage to the organism.  From what I have read, this is the biggest problem ID people have with evolutionary theory.  A lot of complex systems exist with nothing in the Journals to actually show how it could happen via natural selection.  I am not a bio-chemist, and cannot go into detail defending what I barely understand.  I guess I am just openly verbalizing my doubts of Darwin as well, from everything I have heard.  But if you get a chance, try reading Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box".  You say that a good theory can withstand doubt.  I think it would be an enjoyable book for you.  I warn you though ... He goes into painful detail on the biochemical level, not the most preferrable reading for poets like yourself and I.        


"Forth, singular functionality. The idea that a wing, for example, must have evolved in order to fly, but there's no reason to believe this. One theory is that proto-wings evolved because those that had them could run a little faster (or jump a little farther), flying came later. Organs change because functions change."

I see value in this, but this is plausible only where plausible alternate functions can be suggested.  But from what I have read, there are a myriad of systems for which there are no serious suggestions of another function other than the known one.  In fact the uniqueness and apparant specification for some things are so strong, that creative suggestions for other uses become comical at times.  



"Fifth, it always strikes me that an argument that depends for its punch on complexity simply ignores how complex, how diverse, things really are."

How much more then should the converse strike you in the same way?  An argument that depends upon a single principle which is overly simplistic also ignores this diversity and complexity.  And I don't know if you noticed, but your above statement carries the very traits that should make it suspect in your mind.  For it also depends upon complexity for it's punch, right?



" I think the more important point is that we should be trying to figure out how to teach current, mainstream biology correctly (and also to make it interesting) to students than to expend energy on logical possibilities. "


But that is what is at issue with ID.  Some scientists believe very strongly that teaching Darwinian theory as the explain-all for the complexity of life is not correct.  If we don't yet know the irrefutable fact, then logical possiblitites are appropriate.  And as to the sun 1000 years ago, there is a vast difference between logically possible and logically plausible.


Stephen.

  
    
        

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-23-2003 12:05 AM).]

Stephanos
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53 posted 06-23-2003 12:11 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"You draw conclusions from statements that I did not make.††You put words in my mouth.
I am not interested in a discussion at that level.
The points I would make in spite of that are about your attribution of beneficial selection and complexity to evolution, but Brad has done that for me.
(Thanks, Brad)
"


I didn't mean to put words in your mouth.  But it did seem like you were implying that Intelligent Design was more to do with a fear of Death, than with scientific considerations.  And also that evolution was different in that regard.  If I got it wrong, then what exactly did you mean?  Sorry to misinterpret your words.


My answer to Brad & You about complexity are in my previous post above.


Stephen.
Brad
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54 posted 06-23-2003 09:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
No, it would refute natural selection as the panacea for all biological phenomena that we see.  As I mentioned to Ron before, Darwin's theory has been wrongly used as a nostrum to apply to all things, in both scientific and philosophical questions.  I am not implying that you do this sort of thing.  But there are many who do.  If something in nature is found which would be impossible or immensely improbable for natural selection to produce, this would at least help put Darwinism back in it's proper boundaries.  As I said before, of the ID people I have read, most of them believe in natural selection.  It is the extent of it's influence that is in question ... what it can reasonbly be thought to accomplish.


You're right to point out that Darwinism has been used in places where it has no place going. Social Darwinism is one of the dumbest ideas around. Survival of the fittest, a phrase Darwin never used, far too easily, implies a value, a significance that isn't there. It is a description, not a value. Evolution doesn't care what happens, it isn't going to tell you what to do, it can't speak, it is not God. Yes, both protractors and proponents have sometimes mixed it up, but that's because we often conflate Nature with God. Look at the questions that were posted again. How many of those actually deal with evolution? Both sides in this argument barely understand what it is we're talking about (not you, Stephan, you seem to get it -- or almost get it. See below.).

quote:
But Brad, this is not "just wrong".  Look at the total trend of evolution (if you believe it happened via that process).  Sure there may have been the flow and ebb of the tide, from complex organisms back to simpler ones, but it has always been one step back then two steps forward.  And look where we are in complexity, not theoretically speaking, but actually speaking.  You are right in saying that evolution does not dictate that it necessarily had to lead to us, but it did lead to us.  So the question about complexity is still valid.  Especially if you hold that things like consciousness and rationality are advanced evolutionary traits.  The Darwinian mechanism could have gone the other way and created more viable slimeballs with much less complexity, but it hasn't.


I do believe it happened that way, but I have no faith in evolution. I do not believe that things will turn out right if we let evolution take its course. I believe that we can and should value consciousness and rationality (and many, many other things that we do) but I don't believe evolution cares one way or the other or at all. It's a process, an algorithm, and nothing more. There is no telos to evolution, no total trend, no way of ever saying things like evolution tends to move from simple to complex, from bad things to good things, from things we don't like to things we like.

Evolution is not a substitute for God. If people sometimes conflate the two, it's because they can't shed the idea that Nature will actually tell them something if they listen to Nature long enough. Nature doesn't talk, we do. Evolution is a description, not a prescription.  

quote:
This is true to some degree, but it still doesn't eliminate the problem.  Let's say there is a mechanism made of 50 protein parts, and can function without 3 of them.  You still have 47 parts (and not to mention all the steps taken to assemble the parts - in engine assembly, for example, the assembly steps taken always exceed the number of parts) which you have to explain how the addition of each part provided a functional advantage to the organism.  From what I have read, this is the biggest problem ID people have with evolutionary theory.  A lot of complex systems exist with nothing in the Journals to actually show how it could happen via natural selection.  I am not a bio-chemist, and cannot go into detail defending what I barely understand.  I guess I am just openly verbalizing my doubts of Darwin as well, from everything I have heard.  But if you get a chance, try reading Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box".  You say that a good theory can withstand doubt.  I think it would be an enjoyable book for you.  I warn you though ... He goes into painful detail on the biochemical level, not the most preferrable reading for poets like yourself and I.


Yeah, I suppose I should read the book. I've read about it however. Am I wrong that one of his examples is a mousetrap? If so, the problem is the difference between a purposely designed tool and no tool at all. This, perhaps, is one problem in explaining evolution. I can think of many examples that show what algorithms can do (computers), I can give many examples that show how species do indeed change over time (dogs), but these are, to some extent, designed examples. The idea of evolution is that the algorithm exists and it works, but it does not ask where that algorithm comes from. It can't. This is not a weakness of science, science is not a panacea as you yourself say.

On a different note, part of the problem is with a thing some of us call scientism. Scientism does indeed make the claims I'm trying to dispute here, but that's not science. Scientism is a type of rhetoric.          

quote:
I see value in this, but this is plausible only where plausible alternate functions can be suggested.  But from what I have read, there are a myriad of systems for which there are no serious suggestions of another function other than the known one.  In fact the uniqueness and apparant specification for some things are so strong, that creative suggestions for other uses become comical at times.


But what we have to do then is go specific, each case must be examined separately. And I disagree, poets can learn from biochemistry, I've read some really good poems and essays that have done just that. Don't ask twenty question as if the sheer number makes a point (as in the above questionaire), ask about each one and expect an answer.  

quote:
How much more then should the converse strike you in the same way?  An argument that depends upon a single principle which is overly simplistic also ignores this diversity and complexity.


But evolution isn't just one principle, it works in conjunction with physical laws. It may be evoutionary advantageous for a species of insect to grow to our size but it ain't going to happen because of the square/cube law. They would collapse under their own weight (But, hey, I still liked "Them").

As far as complexity goes, my point was that the universe is complex with or without evolution. It's not a reason to believe in evolution or not. More later, running out of time.

quote:
But that is what is at issue with ID.  Some scientists believe very strongly that teaching Darwinian theory as the explain-all for the complexity of life is not correct.


Hmmm, you're right. It doesn't. I think I've already addressed this.

quote:
If we don't yet know the irrefutable fact, then logical possiblitites are appropriate.


Are you kidding? Science is never irrefutable, that's why it's science and not religion.

quote:
And as to the sun 1000 years ago, there is a vast difference between logically possible and logically plausible.


But the original point was that logical possibility is enough to demand the teaching of creationism in schools as a science. I think that misunderstands science and assumes that it is some kind of religion. It is not. I'll have to come back to this. Out of time.


  
Jason Lyle
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55 posted 06-24-2003 02:09 AM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

PLATYPUS
Essorant
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56 posted 06-24-2003 01:18 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yet in another feeling it seems that everything for the Universe as one whole would be/ is here and now already, so how can the one whole Universe evolve or parts of it be evolving?   What isn't in the " here and now" of the "whole" Universe?  Though things seem to evolve to our minds, and to the world--parts of the universe, things might just be staying the same to the whole Universe, or doing what it has always done!  
Is there only a there and then within the Universe to us because we can't see everything here and now,  or is there a there and then because the whole Universe has content beyond to evolve from and to and is new and freshly evolved to this present state?  
I can't believe there was ever "nothing" but what is being called the beginning of the Universe is just an event of a character or state of the universe coming from another character or state of the universe that creationists and scientists have educatedly devised of, but don't call the universe the universe before that state for some reason, which might just be that that of so many that keep the universe in but one state overall.
But If it is not one set content, what makes a new place and time, new content and state of being, for the Universe as a whole, and parts thereof to the whole?

[This message has been edited by Essorant (06-24-2003 03:31 PM).]

WhiteRose
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57 posted 06-24-2003 04:16 PM       View Profile for WhiteRose   Email WhiteRose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WhiteRose

Jason,
  Platypus..God does have a sense of humor, does he not?
Brad
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58 posted 06-28-2003 09:38 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Whiterose,

I was wondering if I can use these questions at another forum. Obviously, I want to use them for very different purposes then you've used here.
WhiteRose
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59 posted 06-29-2003 03:19 PM       View Profile for WhiteRose   Email WhiteRose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WhiteRose

Brad,
   Be my guest, I didn't author the questions. And they certainly were not copyrighted, so anyone is free to use them anywhere.

It's not necessary for you to tell me what you are going to use them for. I really don't want to know.
Brad
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60 posted 07-08-2003 12:11 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

First, I want to thank Whiterose for posting these questions. It motivated me to do some research and discover the tremendous amount of literature on the web devoted to this debate. I've only touched the surface but I've got a lot of good and interesting reading ahead of me.

And I've got a lot of new words to play around with.

What initially struck me in perusing these sites was the sheer amount of patience and intelligence that so many devote to these questions. Are there those who regard others as ignorant fools, involved in conspiracies to sap the strength of the American people (on both sides by the way), or dishonest individuals attempting to make a name for themselves (again on both sides).

Sure, but I expected that.

Here is one article:
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.html

that goes after bacterial flagellum among other things.

From a discussion on turtle evolution, to the irreducible complexity of an F117, to an explanation of why there's only so much dust on the moon, to the proper translation or 'yom' and other terms in Genesis (should it be translated as day or cycle, should morning and evening instead be translated as opening and closing etc.),  what, if anything, can be said about the evolutionists and creationists or intelligent design theorists in general?

Simply put, there is no knock out punch. No one is going to win this seemingly endless debate (if by winning, one means you're going to convince your opponent of your essential rightness). Both the Bible and Nature are endlessly interpretable and will continue to be interpreted endlessly.

For someone like me, this is a good thing. I would suggest however, that a list of rhetorical questions is not the best way to go about attacking a position you disagree with. The speed of evolutionary theory today is so fast that something like Behe's book is already considered obsolete by many. It's one of my favorite tricks in these games we play to answer a question that someone else things is unanswerable and that's exactly what evolutionary biologists are doing, again and again and again.

What does not kill you, makes you stronger.

Toad
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61 posted 07-08-2003 03:36 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad


Having just started my sixth book by Richard Dawkins in as many weeks, interspersed with Internet searches for alternate arguments and counterpoints I have to agree with Brad that this is a fascinating subject.

My money, and some would say a whole lot more, is on natural selection. Of course there are buckets full of questions still waiting to be answered but the pragmatic nature of scientific study is whittling the probable from the possible and building a coherent and comprehensive body of evidence.

I hope that some of the questions originally raised in this post are reposted individually, many of them would, I believe, be a rich source of discussion. I for one would enjoy participating in any that are reposted.
Stephanos
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62 posted 07-09-2003 08:54 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"The speed of evolutionary theory today is so fast that something like Behe's book is already considered obsolete by many. It's one of my favorite tricks in these games we play to answer a question that someone else things is unanswerable and that's exactly what evolutionary biologists are doing, again and again and again.

What does not kill you, makes you stronger.
"


Brad, I wish you would take the time to read Behe's book.  (This post actually stirred my interest to pick it up again)  The kind of answers Behe says evolutionary bilogists should be giving to the questions he asks, have not and are not being given.  When you read his descriptions of biochemistry and his arguments you will see what I mean.

And remember that Behe's questions did not spring from any tension between his religion and evolution, having been taught all of his life (through Roman Catholicism) that evolution is the way God created.  

It has usually been the case that when something is accepted, and a "black box" is opened that challenges what is accepted, the response is that the new questions really don't pose a challenge at all.  From the reading I have done about the biochemical challenge of "irreducible complexity" to the darwinian process of random mutation/ natural selection, these are the kinds of answers that seem to be coming.  Not genuine answers, but answers that it was not a genuine question.


If naturalistic evolution is believed based upon rhetorical argumentation and "faith" in our ability to maintain and revise the theory in the presence of all findings, then it's survival is no more based upon truth, than the forms of biology it describes.  It is in fact "survival of the fittest".  Of course this (as you have said) is true of those on every side of the question.

At any rate it's worth a read, and then you can estimate better if the statement about Behe's challenges being obsolete is an accurate one.  I think many times people mistake "last year" for "obsolete".  If something is ignored long enough and snowed under by obscurantist replies and new frontiers, I guess it could be said to be obsolete.  


Stephen.      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-09-2003 08:57 PM).]

Stephanos
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63 posted 07-09-2003 11:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Here is at least one article in reply to Miller.  These are interesting articles indeed.  I plan on reading Miller's and Dembski's response more closely.  I also wonder If there has been a response by Behe.


http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.02.Miller_Response.htm

Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-09-2003 11:05 PM).]

Maddy vanD
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64 posted 09-07-2003 12:57 AM       View Profile for Maddy vanD   Email Maddy vanD   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Maddy vanD

personally I am both a creationist and an evolutionist...I find the theories to be obvious corollaries. Evolution is the process by which God created life. Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawkings both said that the further they probe into the physics and science of the universe and its origins, the more firmly they believed in God.

Maddy
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Opeth
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65 posted 09-08-2003 11:59 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"...Evolution is the process by which God created life..."

~ In fact, there are several christian denominations that teach just that and believe it to be biblically correct.
River
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66 posted 11-22-2003 07:44 PM       View Profile for River   Email River   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for River

WhiteRose: I see you have stirred up a very lengthy debate here. I personally wanted to add an option to people here earching for answers if it hasn't been mentioned already.  
  There is a man named Josh Mc'Dowell who was an athiest and argued the same things you guys have just as wholeheartedly and earnestly. maybe you have heard of him. he wrote a book entitled "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" I just thought you should possibly check it out to further research the creationist's point of view from someone who seriusly did years and years of research. you don't have to agree with all of the information presented, but it may help you find the answers to those burning questions we all have about Creation vs. Evolution. if you like deep stuff, this gets pretty detailed.

           - River

          

Toad
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67 posted 11-22-2003 10:30 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad

River,

Looking at both sides in an argument before deciding which is the most probable answer is sound advice but there is a danger of forgetting that people have a tendency to use any means at their disposal to convince you that their side is the right side of the argument. Iíve included below a link to a paper written by the late Gordon Stein that should emphasise my point. Not only because Stein highlights the devices used by McDowell to add weight to his assertions but also because if you read it closely enough you may be able to spot Steinís own use of arguments from authority, presumptions and suspicions.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml
Stephanos
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68 posted 11-24-2003 04:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Toad,

This is only partially related to the evolution debate, but since you mentioned Gordon Stein, I wanted to give y'all a link to check out.  This is an audio debate between Gordon Stein and Greg Bahnsen on the existence of God, and a very interesting exchange.

http://www.straitgate.com/gbgs.ram


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-24-2003 04:37 PM).]

Toad
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69 posted 11-24-2003 08:00 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad


Unfortunately the PC I access the internet with doesnít, by choice, have a sound card. Fortunately Iíve already read a transcript of the debate and, I believe, it pretty much emphasises my point.

Both sides, in my opinion, tend towards arguments from authority, presumption and supposition and both of them were doomed to failure before they even began.
Stephanos
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70 posted 11-24-2003 10:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think it's impossible to avoid presuppositions in philosophical / theological debate.  Therefore I won't discount either side for having them, nor for appealing to the authority and charisma of others who have been persuasive in their arguments.  This is natural and has always been a part of debating.  

It's just that good argumentation doesn't rely wholly on the authority of others, and won't state presuppositions without at least attempting to explain their validity.  To expect these elements not to be present would be unrealistic.  Because, to make freedom from suppositions and appeals to others the standard for valid argument, renders all arguments "doomed to failure".  Though I see the excess you are wary of, I can't make that alone my criterion for what is persuasive.


Stephen.


      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-24-2003 10:25 PM).]

Ron
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71 posted 11-25-2003 08:10 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... I can't make that alone my criterion for what is persuasive.

LOL. Presuppositions, in and of themselves, should never be persuasive, and calls to authority should only be as persuasive as the credentials of the one being cited. Trouble is, they are persuasive for most people, so continue to be used extensively.

A presupposition that most find agreeable, if given a name, would probably be called common sense.
Stephanos
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72 posted 11-25-2003 12:11 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

Toad seems to suggest that since arguers hold presuppositions and appeal to authority, their points are invalid.  But since I know that EVERYONE has presuppositions, and that first principles are unavoidable, I cannot make the absence of them my standard of what good argumentation is.  There is simply no argument that does not have them.  But, like you, I think arguments that just state them with no attempt to justify them are poor.  


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73 posted 11-25-2003 12:36 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad

On the contrary, my suggestion was that the devices used do not necessarily make an argument valid - that recognising the methods used allows you a better chance of judging the arguments.

[This message has been edited by Toad (11-25-2003 12:37 PM).]

Kaoru
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74 posted 11-26-2003 11:44 PM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru

Well, this could go on forever, couldn't it?

Historically, Jesus was a philosopher. Religion itself is philosophical, isn't it?

So, we could say that Jesus and Neitzsche went to the same "heaven" as Buddha and Socrates.

Or, we could just say they died, that's that.. They had no soul, they were just warm-blooded biological structures.

Nothing can truely be proven, and nothing can be proven. Nothing is nothing, and nowhere is where we'll get trying to find 100% proof of our existence and why we exist.

So.. as I'm going crazy trying to word this whole thing correctly, and understandably.. I'm just thinking..

Believe what you will.. Although some people will be closed-minded and you'll be persecuted despite WHAT you believe in.. it is your choice..

No matter how much proof is offered, you will go on believing in God.. Just like some will go on believing in Evolution.. and some will go on believing in nothing at all, denying that our existence is even real.

Fact is, whether you believe in a creator or not, you're here and you'll have a belief that belongs to you, and only you. Keep that, and get on with life.

...*end senseless rant*

 
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