ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

Information

ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
Members: 4153
Latest Activity: 9 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

We welcome comments and the opening up of new discussions in this busy group. So join us if you are not already in the group.

N.B. At the end of every discussion page is a box that you can tick if you want to be notified by e-mail about the arrival of fresh comments.

Discussion Forum

Organic Material Found on Mars

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Patricia 9 hours ago. 1 Reply

Pope Says Animals go to Heaven

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Lemual Poot 20 hours ago. 24 Replies

Alzheimer's Reversed in Mice

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Loren Miller on Monday. 2 Replies

Pope Says Animals go to Heaven

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Plinius Dec 11. 2 Replies

42,000 Year Old Flute

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Jay Stride Dec 10. 2 Replies

Ebola Spreads to U.S.

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Dec 10. 9 Replies

540,000 Year Old Artwork

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Dr. Terence Meaden Dec 9. 15 Replies

Hawking Likes Film on His Life

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 29. 3 Replies

Very Ancient Sharks Teeth Found

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Nov 29. 3 Replies

Ancient Footprints

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Patricia Nov 22. 2 Replies

empathizing–systemizing

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 18. 6 Replies

Knowledge and Atheism

Started by Madhukar Kulkarni. Last reply by Jimmy McCann Nov 18. 55 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN to add comments!

Comment by Joseph P on September 14, 2013 at 6:59pm

The entire idea is a complete nonstarter, for me, Shaun.  You're proposing we develop a new model, because the old model doesn't account for something that I don't believe exists.  You see the problem here?

Evolution can explain the development of consciousness.  It's just an emergent property of a sufficiently-advanced processing engine ... the brain.

Your statement about free will is ... odd.  Do you have an idea of any sort of mechanism to allow for free will?  My understanding of our current model of reality is that it's deterministic.  Even the cumulative effect of quantum mechanical oddity can be summarized on the macro level, using well-established rules.

For that matter, I don't see how quantum activity would translate into free will, even if it was truly random.

Even if there was such a thing as free will, I don't see how it acts as any kind of reason to reject Darwinian biological-evolution.  If we have a mechanism for free will, then clearly it was there all the time, and biological organisms simply incorporated it.  How do you think it invalidates Darwin's proposal?

So, yes, I have a major problem with your logic.  You need to explain why we need to shove free will into the equation, before you can use it as an excuse to look for a new model.

"I am of the opinion that  individual creatures do not live long enough to direct their own evolution ..."

Uhhhh, individual creatures don't evolve.  I think you have a few holes in your understanding of natural selection.  :-P

Oh, and sorry about the questioning of your atheist creds.  You wouldn't believe the people I've unmasked, masquerading on here, who only came clean indirectly, after I questioned them about their beliefs, in deep detail.

"Ah, so you do think that some sort of creator being that we would call a god - possibly the Christian one - probably does exist.  Right, let me go get the moderators to kick your ass off the site."  ^.^

Some people don't read the agreement that they digitally signed.  Heh heh heh.

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 6:42pm
Dorian, be careful attributing intent where no exists: Evolution happens in populations, not individuals. In the examples you cite, it is not the individual organisms "choosing to change" it is simply that of the large population, the ones who survived already had the mutation necessary to enable them to survive. Those ones reproduced and passed on that trait to their offspring.

As to free will, Shaun, on a level metaphorically similar to Dorian's example of our "moving 350+ miles per second in seven different directions," free will is an illusion. But on a middle world human scale that is just a pointless sophistry. As far as I am concerned, I am sitting at my desk at work, not moving aside from to type this comment. And as far as I am concerned, I freely chose to write this comment. Sure, in theory we could trace back antecedent after antecedent to show that I didn't chose to make this comment but was rather compelled by layers of cause, but that, although it might be true, is silly, sophomoric, and pointless.
Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 14, 2013 at 6:11pm

Shaun logic doesn't always correlate with reality.

Back in the 1600s it was unimaginable to conceive that we are moving at 350+ miles per second in 7 different directions, but we are.  And we are doing that without anyone feeling any motion sickness or anything flying around the house.

But more interesting is your comment that creatures do not live long enough to direct their own evolution.  I'm not sure where you are drawing this conclusion from, but it couldn't be further from the observed facts.

Just think about the HIV virus, it constantly mutates to it's advantage.  Even as the immune system kills it off.  It actually hides and mutates again and again.

Bacteria becomes immune to drugs even as most of them die from such drug.  The very few remaining bugs mutate to become immune to the drug.

There is no controversy in Evolution, only missing pieces to the puzzle.   Evolution is a fact, but the theory that explains it, is incomplete.

Comment by Shaun Johnston on September 14, 2013 at 5:54pm

I am not a theist, but l am driven by logic to accept that in a world that contains creatures with consciousness and free will, consciousness and free will cannot be defined as absent from how they evolved.  Judging from your answers, though, my opinion is controversial, confirming that-- unless you deny any validity to my logic--there can be controversy in evolution.  I am of the opinion that  individual creatures do not live long enough to direct their own evolution, but some agency at the level of the species or the order or the kingdom might. Can logic rule out such a possibility ?

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 14, 2013 at 5:48pm

I'm not an expert, I'm just throwing that out there based on educated assumptions, but have you seen what a Fly can do?

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_dickinson_how_a_fly_flies.html

Comment by Joseph P on September 14, 2013 at 5:18pm

I wouldn't go so far as to say that all animals are conscious.  Most insects have such primitive stimulus/response processing that I don't think it qualifies.  Then, there are plenty of animals that have an even more primitive nervous system.

Most of the animals in our section of the tree are probably conscious, though.  I imagine most mammals would qualify to some degree.  Some mollusks are damned smart too, for that matter.  You have higher order processing evolving in a few different sections of the tree.

And Shaun, no.  Really, you need to read up a lot more on ... well, I'm not even sure what the name of the branch of evolutionary study is that involves brain development, but they have some rather good working models on the subject.

There's no faith in Darwinism.  It's the only working model we have, for the evolution of biological creatures.  It won out over a few competitors.  Creationism doesn't even have a model, which is why the term creation science is such a steaming pile of crap.

You're not a theist who sneaked on here, are you?

Comment by Homer Edward Price on September 14, 2013 at 4:37pm

Shaun Johnson's thought shows the classic theistic assumption that if something happened, "somebody" had to make it happen. The assumption is that the "somebody" is an anthropomorphic being, having  consciousness and free will like ourselves.  This is the way children think.  It is not the way scientists think.   Children in school should be exposed to real science, not to childish pseudo-science.

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 14, 2013 at 2:30pm

Shaun, it would seem to me that all animals are conscious, they simply don't possess the brain power to understand things the way we do because consciousness is directly proportional to the brains capacity.

Consciousness therefore is a natural occurrence and had to evolve with time and could not have simply popped into existence.

Comment by Shaun Johnston on September 14, 2013 at 1:51pm

"

I think there is a controversy, but it doesn't involve creationism. It involves how free will and consciousness evolved. If we can be conscious then consciousness can be an agent in the world through other "creatures." And it is only faith in Darwinism that makes some people deny free will--most others experience us as having it. Grant us free will and that too could exist in other agents in the world. To me it seems plausible that the creation (small "c") of conscious creatures like us with free will involved the operation of a process also involving (in some way) conscious and free will of its own.

Isn't that controversial?

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 14, 2013 at 1:40pm

Watch A Musician Give The Coolest Science Lecture This Side Of Anyw...

Let's talk about expectations, led by Bobby McFerrin, who demonstrated the universality of melody and how music affects our brains and emotions.

 

Members (4153)

 
 
 

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

Latest Activity

The Flying Atheist commented on Ruth Anthony-Gardner's group Hang With Friends
6 minutes ago
Amy commented on Daniel W's group Godless in the garden
30 minutes ago
Daniel W commented on Daniel W's group Godless in the garden
41 minutes ago
Jim B posted a photo
45 minutes ago
Loren Miller commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
46 minutes ago
Frank Moorman posted a status
"Heading to Las Vegas this weekend and hope to see the Tree of Knowledge, decorated with book covers, posted by the LV Coalition of Reason."
1 hour ago
Frank Moorman updated their profile
1 hour ago
Frank Moorman posted a status
"I signed up here four years ago, but did not participate, what with life taking some interesting turns. So I'll try again."
2 hours ago
Frank Moorman replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Dyslexic's DOG's blog post Wendy Wright (Creationist) arguably the Dumbest Person I've Ever Seen on Youtube!
2 hours ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service