ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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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
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Joseph P on September 15, 2013 at 11:06am

Shaun's weird assertion that the opinion of the majority of the uneducated masses should override that of the specialists just ... blows my mind.  I don't know about him, but I want structural engineers to design the bridges that I'll be driving over, not a committee of those who looked at a popup book full of bridges, once.

Comment by Homer Edward Price on September 15, 2013 at 11:04am

The real controversy here is not about creationism, but about free will.  And I disagree that Darwinism is incompatible with free will.  The only version of Darwinism that is strictly deterministic is the "selfish gene" perspective of Richard Dawkins.  He argues that the individual gene, not the organism, is what evolves by natural selection.   Even if organisms--such as vertebrates--are conscious, genes are not.  And if genes drive behavior, there is no free will.  Few contemporary Darwinists accept the "selfish gene" perspective, and Daniel Dennett has concluded that even that is compatible with free will.

Comment by Joseph P on September 15, 2013 at 10:23am

"I think controversial means, among most people, not limited to the consensus among those with specialist training.  I believe I represent the majority better than those of you who have responded to my comment so far. Do you think I'm wrong?"

Yes, you're wrong.  People with no knowledge of the subject they're criticizing can have all sorts of crazy ideas that have long since been sorted out by the people who study the subject.  You've already demonstrated that you don't understand the basics of the theory.

The majority of uneducated people is not the group you should side with.

Comment by Joseph P on September 15, 2013 at 10:20am

Shaun Johnston:

"To them l think "emergent  properties" would smack of an appeal to magical thinking.  I am myself among that majority."

A majority of scientists who actually study this stuff and have a valid opinion, or a majority of people who make wild assumptions?

Comment by Joseph P on September 15, 2013 at 10:17am

Shaun, one person saying "Nuh uh," does not make a controversy.  The creationists use the same crap.  Show me scientists who study the subject and really know what they're talking about.  Convince them and get them to construct an alternate model, and then you might have your controversy.  Until then, not so much.

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 15, 2013 at 2:13am

I just want to know how people can knowingly live a lie.

I guess it's like alcoholics, as long as they feel good...

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 15, 2013 at 1:57am

In my opinion, it is that they ARE decided and their misunderstanding is willful.

Comment by Robert Lanktree on September 15, 2013 at 1:32am

I don't see how these groups of undecided/misunderstanding people can debate things proven and happening right before our eyes, like for example, lately rattlesnakes have been found not to rattle, or at least a great many don't. Darwinian evolution suggested the survival of the fittest and the fittest rattlesnakes are those that don't rattle, thus preventing themselves from attention and likely death. Darwinian evolution is so brilliant and yet so simple it boggles the mind how so many just don't get it.

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 10:38pm
No, you can't obtain acknowledgement of that from me. Science isn't a popularity contest. Those who find it implausible mearly lack understanding of it, perhaps there was a ball dropped educationally, but I think the fault is more on religions shoulders. I couldn't find with googling your source on those numbers, but I did find a 2012 Gallup pool which found 46% of Americans were biblical creationists, 32% were theistic evolutionists and only 15% accepted non-theistic evolution. I find the 32% somewhat encouraging, but even so. This is culture, not science. If 80% of Americans thought the world was flat and rode through the ether on the back of a giant turtle, that would not make the idea that the Earth is a spheroid floating in space controversial: it would just make them wrong.
Comment by Shaun Johnston on September 14, 2013 at 10:26pm

Clearly I'm unable to obtain acknowledgement that darwinism (which I elaborated as the modem synthesis) is thought implausible by  enough non creationists to make the subject of evolution controversial. So I am bowing out.

 

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